Commentary: The Teacher Pay Gap Is Really About the STEM Salary Premium

Teacher reading to student.

With classrooms finally reopening and hundreds of billions of federal dollars earmarked for public schools, the issue of teacher pay will soon re-emerge. Before the pandemic, public school teachers were fighting against a widely perceived “teacher salary penalty.” President Biden vowed to “correct this wrong,” promising a dramatic increase in federal education funding to “give teachers a raise.” But what causes these pay differences? New Census Bureau data suggest that most teachers are paid roughly what they’d receive in other jobs. But if public schools wish to attract the best-qualified graduates to teaching, they need to stop paying the physics teacher the same as the gym teacher.

The Economic Policy Institute, a teacher-union-affiliated think tank, reports that public school teachers receive salaries about 20 percent lower than non-teachers with equal levels of experience and education.

But what does it mean for education to be “equal”? College graduates attended different institutions, majored in different fields, and received different GPAs, leading to different salaries later in life. That’s why parents encourage their children to attend more competitive colleges and, increasingly, to favor STEM fields over liberal arts majors.

Read More

Over 1,400 Metro Nashville Teachers, Staff Scoff at Proposed Three Percent Raise, Call Out Sick Friday

More than 1,400 Metro Nashville Public Schools teachers and school staff scoffed at receiving a 3 percent pay raise and called out sick Friday, WKRN said. A total of 1,093 teachers and over 400 staff members from at least 18 schools called out. McGavock High School was one of the hardest…

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: State of the State Expectations 2019

The State of the State will signal to the state the administration’s priorities for the immediate future. It is where campaign promises, either become realities or go to die.

Read More