Lawmakers across the political spectrum have made raising teacher pay a top priority in 2023.
Democrats in both the U.S. House and Senate have introduced bills aiming to get teachers to a $60,000 base salary. President Joe Biden called on lawmakers to give public school teachers a raise during his State of the Union address earlier this month. And Republican governors, including Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, have touted proposals to raise teacher pay while in office.
“We should ensure that parents continue to play an active role in their kids’ education, and we should ensure that teachers are paid what they deserve,” Reeves, whose state ranks last in teacher pay, said in his state of the state address on Jan. 30. “It is my firm belief that Mississippi has some of the best teachers in the nation, and their salaries should reflect that.”
The attention on teacher salaries comes as many school districts are struggling to hire new teachers or bring prospective teachers into the profession. It also follows decades of stagnation on teacher salaries, with those in the profession often earning far less than others with similar education levels.
But where exactly does teacher pay stand? Education Week compiled the latest figures to find out.
Average teacher salaries have barely risen since the 1990s when adjusted for inflation.
Teacher pay varies widely by state and region.
New York teachers earn the most.
A version of this article appeared in the March 15, 2023 edition of Education Week as A $60K Starting Salary For Teachers? Not a Single State Meets the Bar