When is “average” not average? It’s when we are talking about teacher pay in Texas. That’s when “average” becomes deficient.
I have seen a couple of references lately about how Texas’ teachers are paid about “average” among the states, the comparison being based on the fact that Texas ranks 29th in average teacher salary, according to the latest survey from the National Education Association. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia pay their teachers more, and 22 states pay their teachers less.
But this ranking is not only mediocre, it also is misleading, as any Texas teacher knows.
Average teacher pay in Texas, in cold, hard numbers, is $53,167. That’s $7,316 below the national average for 2017-18, and that’s worse than mediocre. That’s shameful. And it’s going in the wrong direction.
In 2016-17, teacher pay in Texas ranked 26th, and it was $7,085 below the national average.
Among the 10 most populous states, only Florida and Georgia paid their teachers less than Texas in 2017-18, according to the NEA survey.
Average teacher pay in New York was $83,585; California, $81,126; Pennsylvania, $67,398; Illinois, $65,776; Michigan, $62,702; Ohio, $58,000; and Georgia, $56,329.
Texas teachers need and deserve a raise. But the only way you are going to get one and improve overall state funding for your schools is to show up in large numbers at the polls and vote for state candidates who will give you more than lip service. Vote Education First!