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Despite some gains in teacher pay, salaries still lag behind inflation

The National Education Association says 77% of school districts pay a starting salary below $50,000.
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Posted at 9:15 AM, May 01, 2024

While teacher salaries have grown throughout the U.S., the increase is not enough to account for inflation, according to the National Education Association.

For the 2022-2023 school year, the national average teacher salary increased 4.1% from the previous year, according to NEA. That’s because of help from elected officials, in addition to efforts from teachers unions.

But when adjusted for inflation, teachers are making 5% less than they were 10 years ago.

According to NEA, 77% of school districts still pay a starting salary below $50,000. And the national average teacher salary across the board was below $70,000.

Some states are making better progress than others when it comes to teacher pay. NEA data shows that in states with collective bargaining, teachers earn 26% more, on average.

Alabama, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Mississippi and Washington all made considerable gains in the 2022-2023 school year.

But other states, like Florida, dropped to 50th in the nation for average teacher salary.

Overall, the national average starting salary for teachers in the U.S. was $44,530.