It’s no secret teacher pay is a hot topic. It has caught the attention of state lawmakers across the country and is one of the factors behind recent teacher walkouts. The average salaries for public school teachers, though, vary wildly from state-to-state: from $44,926 in the worst-paying state to $84,227 in the highest.
Lawmakers in many U.S. states have taken steps in recent years to boost teacher pay, partially in response to a teacher shortage and the need to address challenges with attracting and retaining teachers.
Nationwide, the average teacher salary was $60,477 during the 2017-18 school year, according to the National Education Association, the national teachers union. And salaries rose an average of 1.58 percent, compared with the previous school year.
Where does your state fall in the rankings? Here’s a look, using data from an April 2019 report “Rankings of the States 2018 and Estimates of School Statistics 2019” by the National Education Association. Numbers are from the 2017-18 school year. Median household income figures come from the United States Census Bureau's 2017 American Community Survey one-year estimates.