Teacher Salaries Across America: NEA’s Latest Report

Educators have long advocated for higher salaries, and while some progress has been made in certain parts of the country over the past year, a recent report suggests it’s not enough to keep pace with inflation.

The National Education Association (NEA), the largest teachers’ union in the U.S., released its latest data on teacher salaries on Tuesday.

According to the NEA, teachers in the U.S. are earning an average of $69,544. At the upper end, teachers in some states are earning nearly six figures, while at the lower end, teachers make around $50,000.

Starting teachers are earning significantly less, with an average of $44,530. Although this marks a 3.9% increase from the 2021–2022 school year, when adjusted for inflation, “starting teacher salaries are now $4,273 below the 2008–2009 levels.”

Overall, the NEA reports that teachers are receiving 5% less than they did a decade ago due to inflation.

The interactive map below illustrates the average salary per state for the last school year, as well as the previous year’s average and the ranking of each state in both years.

Follow Teachers Updates Jobs And Vacancies on Facebook

Nowhere was the average teacher salary higher than in California, where teachers are earning over $95,100 annually, up nearly $7,000 from the previous school year, propelling California to the top of the list.

California surpassed New York, where teachers earn an average of $92,696. Only in Massachusetts is the average salary over $92,000. The top five on NEA’s list also include Washington ($86,804) and the District of Columbia ($84,882).

In almost 20 states, the average salary fell below $60,000.

At the bottom of NEA’s list is West Virginia, where teachers earn less than $53,000 annually. Florida ($53,098) and South Dakota ($53,153) closely follow. Mississippi ($53,354) and Missouri ($53,999) complete the bottom five.

For many teachers in these states, the average salary barely supports a middle-class lifestyle. Amie Baca-Oehlert, president of the Colorado Education Association, noted that, in some cases, teachers have to work multiple jobs to support their families.

Baca-Oehlert added that many Colorado teachers cannot afford to live in the communities they serve, forcing long commutes.

NEA President Becky Pringle emphasized that the impact of a teacher’s salary extends beyond their personal lives to their students, urging collective action from voters, legislators, and districts to improve teacher pay.

Last year, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced legislation to set the minimum pay for public school teachers at $60,000 a year, following calls from President Joe Biden for raises for teachers. The bill was referred to a Senate committee in March 2023.

In Our Other News: TSC Salaries and Allowances for Newly Employed Teachers

While Texas falls roughly in the middle of NEA’s list, a recent report from personal finance firm MoneyGeek indicates that Texas is where a teacher’s pay stretches the farthest.

According to the report, teachers in McAllen, Texas, have the highest purchasing power, while Honolulu has the lowest, with educators taking home just $22,677.

Teacher Salaries Across America: NEA’s Latest Report

Leave A Reply