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Wisconsin teacher pay drops to lowest level in 50 years

Posted: 2/16/2011 10:07:15 AM

New data just released by the National Education Association shows the average salary for Wisconsin teachers has dropped to 23rd nationally, down from 21st one year ago. That is the lowest ranking going back to 1963, the oldest data on record. 

The average salary, which includes annual step increases for longevity and lane changes for educational attainment, was $51,264. Fifty-two percent of Wisconsin teachers hold master’s degrees and the average teacher has 16 years experience. 

Once ranked 15th, teacher pay was capped in 1993 and has fallen ever since. Where teachers once received 103 percent of the national average in pay, they now receive only 93 percent.

In the last decade, real earnings for Wisconsin teachers declined by 2.3 percent. Teachers earn less today than they did a decade ago. Wisconsin ranked 46th nationally in salary change, with 45 states experiencing larger increases in income. 

Starting pay in Wisconsin, which lands at $33,800, lost 5 percent to inflation, so that new teachers today earn $1,225 dollars less than they did in 1992. Wisconsin ranks 30th nationally on staring pay, lower than teachers in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Minnesota in the Midwest. Teachers in general have the lowest starting pay of any profession requiring a college degree. 

Teacher pay is falling compared to standard economic measures like inflation and per capita income, pay is falling relative to other teachers nationally, and Wisconsin teachers today are in the bottom 40 percent of all states for starting pay.

Comments 8

  1. Brian 2/23/2011

    Not only is the pay lower, but now we are being asked to pay more for our not so great benefits.
    First they came for our pay, and we said okay, and now they're coming after our benefits.  And we say okay.  
    We should be proposing a better way to fund schools right now while the media spotlight is on us.
    Instead of agreeing with Walker's moral assumptions about how to fund schools, we should be framing the issue around shared responsibility and the public good.
  2. Jean Colasanti 2/22/2011

    Our dist. in Tucson AZ decided in hiring next year and that means all who are currently employed that having a Masters Degree doesn't count towards retaining your job because it doesn't get you highly qualified.  Getting a Masters in the dist. eyes is nothing.  Then why do we do it?  Please stay strong WI.  We need you all across the country.  I wish I could be there with you.
  3. Kevin 2/19/2011

    Keep fighting!  Be loud and be strong!

    Some inspiration for you.  Two wonderful videos.

    Firefighters' eye view: Taking the Capitol - Feb. 18th, 2011, Kill the Bill Wisconsin Protest

    Three days of footage (Feb 15-17) from the Madison, WI protest against the SB11 budget repair bill.

    We are with you!
  4. Hannah 2/18/2011

    Interpreters in the Educational setting earn only $18,000 a year! We have the same licensing requirements, and we need to pass a proficiency test every five years and pay for that too! Take away everything else and your Deaf and Hard of Hearing kids are going to suffer too!
  5. Jennier 2/17/2011

    Teachers in my district have taken minimal salary increases and freezes to maintain the levels of benifits they have and to preserve precious teaching jobs which keep class sizes lower for students.  No one is arguing that the issue doesn't require action, we are just asking for equal rights to bargain.  Watch out the attack on private unions and workers will be next.
  6. Terra 2/17/2011

    Without the benefits who would bother to become a teacher? Racking up serious debt getting a Master's degree has to come with some sort of compensation, and it's not coming through their salary.
  7. Jason 2/17/2011

    Way to ignore benefits as part of the compensation package.  That's not biased or anything...
  8. David 2/16/2011

    Don't stand for more bureaucratic hypocrisy as they greedily take from those carrying this country.  Stand up for what you believe in.

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