Teachers earned an average annual salary of $47,602 in 2004-05—an increase of 2.2 percent over the previous year, according to an annual survey released last week by the American Federation of Teachers.
But the increase fell short of the rate of inflation, which was 3.4 percent that year, according to the survey of beginning and average teacher salaries.
The state with the highest teacher pay that year was Connecticut, where beginning teachers were paid some $39,259, and the average teacher salary was $57,760. North Dakota paid the lowest salary for beginning teachers, $24,872, while South Dakota paid the lowest average salary of $34,039.
The AFT report calls for increasing teacher salaries by 30 percent by the end of the decade—an additional investment of $15 billion per year—to make teacher pay competitive with salaries in other professions.
The report examines the impact of housing costs and student loans on teachers in the nation’s 50 largest cities. In many, it says, the median-priced home is well out of the reach of experienced teachers with master’s degrees.
A version of this article appeared in the April 04, 2007 edition of Education Week