Salaries, Taxes, and Best Places to Live: Teacher Beat’s Top Stories for 2017

By Liana Loewus — December 22, 2017 2 min read
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Looking across the most-read pieces on the Teacher Beat blog this year, a theme emerges right away: money.

A write-up about the states that pay teachers the most—as well as those that pay the least—garnered more attention than any other blog post in 2017. As it turns out, teachers are best-paid in Alaska at about $78,000 a year, and worst-paid in Mississippi, where they earn $42,000 on average.

Teacher readers also wanted to know about how the tax bill would affect the $250 deduction they’ve been able to take for classroom supplies. For a while, it looked like that could be eliminated, but the final Republican bill, which the president signed Dec. 22, maintained the above-the-line deduction.

A post on a movement in California to require that credentialed teachers get paid as much as lawmakers, who typically earn more than $100,000 a year, also drew plenty of eyes.

And there was interest in determining the best places for teachers to live. The top posts include ones on housing affordability, tiny homes, and how to transfer teaching licenses across state lines.

See the list below for the complete list of the top 10 Teacher Beat posts for 2017.

1) Which States Pay Teachers the Most (and Least)?

Teachers make nearly double on average in Alaska what they make in Mississippi, according to a study from GoBankingRates.

2) Teachers Go Public With Their Resignation Letters

Scripted lessons, an oppressive testing culture, and a punitive evaluation system are the main reasons teachers are heading for the exits, according to analyses of their resignation letters.

3) It’s Time to Rethink School Schedules, Report Says

School schedules leave teachers little room for collaboration and reflection, according to a report.

4) Teachers Would Lose $250 Deduction for Classroom Materials Under GOP Tax Bill

The tax bill proposed by House Republican leaders would have scrapped a benefit that many teachers have come to rely on: the $250 “educator expense deduction,” which can be used to recoup the cost of classroom materials. (The final bill kept it in place.)

5) Colo. District Considers Building Tiny Homes for Teachers

In the midst of a housing crunch, Eagle County School District in Colorado considers tiny home construction as a strategy to recruit and retain teachers.

6) Should Teachers Make as Much as Lawmakers? Calif. Voters Could Decide

The Teacher Fair Pay Act would require that teachers are paid no less than lawmakers in California.

7) Why 4,500 North Carolina Teachers Might Lose Their Jobs This Summer

There was concern that the state’s effort to reduce class sizes might leave thousands of art, music, foreign language, and physical education teachers without a job.

8) Where Teachers Can and Can’t Afford to Live

New York City, San Francisco, and Washington are the least affordable places for new teachers, the analysis shows.

9) Trump Signs Bill Scrapping Teacher-Prep Rules

President Donald Trump signed a bill overturning a controversial education regulation put in place during the Obama administration that would have required states to rate teacher-preparation programs annually.

10) More States Are Making It Easier to Transfer Your Teaching License

Since 2016, 11 states eased their regulations around teacher-license reciprocity, according to a new analysis of regulations from all 50 states.

Top Image: Getty

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.