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Teacher salaries lag behind inflation

Wisconsin's average teacher salary is $2,636 below national average

From the NEA

The National Education Association published figures Wednesday (December 12, 2007) showing that investments in America’s public schools remain stagnant, as the average increase in teacher salary continued to trail behind the rate of inflation for 2005-06. No state has achieved adequate and equitable funding despite years of court cases and education reform proposals.

According to NEA’s publication, "Rankings and Estimates: Rankings of the States 2006 and Estimates of School Statistics 2007," the national average public schoolteacher salary for 2005-06 was $49,026. State average public schoolteacher salaries ranged from those in California ($59,825), Connecticut ($59,304) and the District of Columbia ($59,000) at the high end to South Dakota ($34,709), North Dakota ($37,764) and West Virginia ($38,284) at the low end.

Wisconsin's average public schoolteacher salary for 2005-06 was $46,390, which is $2,636 below the national average, ranking it 21st in the nation. Wisconsin average teacher salaries in 2005-06 were 94.6% of the national average, or 5.4% below the national average. After adjusting for inflation, the report noted, Wisconsin's average teacher salary declined 5.5% from 1995-96 to 2005-06 while the nationwide average increased 1.3%.

“Low teacher pay comes at a very high cost,” said NEA President Reg Weaver. “How can we expect educators to be focused, committed and at their best on a daily basis when they are fearful of the consequences of not earning enough to support their families? Each year we lose excellent teachers because they can’t afford to make ends meet. Low teacher pay shortchanges the teaching profession, and students end up paying the price.”

Weaver continued: “The values we place on education must match the investments if we’re going to attract highly qualified teachers or close student achievement gaps and reduce the high school dropout rate.”

"Rankings & Estimates" provides statistics to raise public understanding of key issues affecting teaching and learning conditions in the nation’s public schools. Other public education indicators, including school population and student-teacher ratio, can be found in the state-by-state report. Among the other highlights:

  • Public school enrollment – Public school enrollment was 48,727,536, up 0.7% over fall 2004. The largest percentages of school enrollment increases from fall 2004 to fall 2005 were in Nevada (3.1%), Georgia (2.9%), Texas (2.8%) and Arizona (2.4%). Eighteen states and the District of Columbia experienced declines in student enrollment in fall 2005. The greatest declines were in Louisiana (-9.6%), North Dakota (-2.2%), Utah (-1.9%) and the District of Colombia (-1.3%). Wisconsin's school enrollment for the fall of 2005 is listed at 875,174, which is 19th in the country and an increase of 1.2% from the fall of 2004.
  • Expenditures per student – Average per-student expenditure for public elementary and secondary schools was $9,100 based on 2005-06 fall enrollment. States with the highest per-student expenditures were New Jersey ($13,781), New York ($13,551), Massachusetts ($12,596), and Vermont ($12,475) and Connecticut ($12,436). Wisconsin ranked 15th in the country in this category ($9,965).
  • Gender diversity in teaching – Males comprised 24.4% of public schoolteachers in 2006. Many of them taught in Kansas (33.3%), Oregon (31.4%), Alaska (30.9%) or Indiana (30.5%). States with the lowest percentage of male faculty were Arkansas (17.5%), Mississippi (17.7%), Louisiana (17.8%), South Carolina (17.9%), Virginia (18.8%) and Georgia (19.3%). Wisconsin ranked 12th in the nation (27.6%).

"Rankings and Estimates" has presented selected education statistics since the 1960s.

The complete report can be found at http://www.nea.org/edstats/images/07rankings.pdf

Wisconsin teacher average salaries

Year Rank Wisconsin U.S. % of US avg.
1988-89
14
$30,779
$29,570
104.1%
1989-90
16
$31,921
$31,166
102.4%
1990-91
15
$33,209
$33,041
100.5%
1991-92
13
$35,074
$34,148
102.7%
1992-93
15
$35,926
$35,000
102.6%
1993-94
16
$35,990
$35,972
100.1%
1994-95
16
$37,746
$36,605
103.1%
1995-96
15
$38,182
$37,685
101.3%
1996-97
15
$39,057
$38,611
101.2%
1997-98
15
$39,357
$39,477
99.7%
1998-99
16
$40,657
$40,582
100.2%
1999-00
16
$41,153
$41,724
98.6%
2000-01
21
$42,122
$43,339
97.2%
2001-02
22
$42,232
$44,499
94.9%
2002-03
21
$42,775
$45,810
93.3%
2003-04
24
$42,882
$46,752
91.7%
2004-05
25
$43,466
$47,750
91.0%
2005-06
21
$46,390
$49,026
94.6%

Posted December 12, 2007

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