Commentary: States Can Make the Difference on an Unjust Teacher Pay Gap

The seemingly-omnipresent call to raise teacher pay is sounding even louder this year, as rising inflation threatens to render moot any raises made in previous years. Yet even before that became apparent, state pay raises for teachers were heading toward a crescendo. There were numerous historic raises in March 2022 alone: Mississippi’s Gov. Tate Reeves signed a pay bump of roughly 10 percent, New Mexico’s Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a base salary increase average of 20 percent, and Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis announced $800 million in additional funds to raise teachers’ starting salaries. In April 2022, Alabama’s Gov. Kay Ivey approved raises that range from 4 to 21 percent depending on teachers’ experience levels.

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Teacher Pay Will Be Issue in Tennessee Public School Funding Review

As Tennessee begins looking at revamping its Basic Education Program (BEP) to fund public schools, one factor looming in the discussion of a new funding formula is teacher pay.

Legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle recognize teacher pay and how the BEP funds teacher pay are an issue.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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