Nationwide data shows teacher pay isn’t keeping up with inflation, declining over the last decade

WASHINGTON, D.C. — New nationwide numbers reveal teachers are making a lot less today than they were a decade ago.


Teachers say these findings show average pay hasn’t kept up with rising inflation. It shows educators are taking home about $3,644 less than they did a decade ago.

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These numbers are from the National Education Association. They examined data about teacher salary from Pre-K through college.

When adjusted for inflation, it shows the average salary dropped an estimated six-point-four percent over the past decade.

However, the data highlights why some states may offer better pay than others.

Florida ranks number 48 in the nation for pay with the average teacher’s salary coming in around $51,000 per year.

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“What we found is that those states that have collective bargaining laws in their states, that on average, teachers make 25% more if they are able to collectively bargain and we found that our support staff makes 17% more,” said Becky Pringle, President of the National Education Association.

Pringle says these numbers overall are very concerning. She warns this trend will continue impacting teacher recruitment and retention.

“Young educators as they make those decisions to start families or to buy houses, they realize they don’t have enough money to do that,” she said. “They are too often making the decision that they cannot afford to stay in the profession of education.”

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Educators say they’re not just calling on Congress to take action on pay. They also want state and local officials to increase teacher salaries.

President Biden echoed those same calls ahead of Monday’s 2023 Teachers of the Year celebration at the White House.

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