Teacher salaries are all over the map

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By TOM GANTERT AND BRETT ROWLAND

THE CENTER SQUARE

(The Center Square) – A 28-year-old teacher’s video announcing that he quit his job in Ohio to go work as a manager at Walmart went viral in July, and his story landed him on “Good ABC’s “Morning America”.

“Quitting teaching after six years to become a manager at Walmart and earn more without using my degree,” Seth Goshorn said in his video, which received more than 63,000 likes on TikTok.

Mr. Goshorn had a gross salary of $48,962 in 2021 – his last full year as a teacher at the Plain Local School District in Canton, Ohio. He left for a $55,000-a-year job as a manager at Walmart. According to district documents, Mr. Goshorn worked as a teacher for four years.

His story continued a long-running debate about teacher salaries in this country. This is a complicated question because teacher compensation can vary widely.

About 125 miles southwest of Canton, where Mr. Goshorn had a base salary of $44,735, teachers in the Columbus School District in Ohio are threatening to strike. A teacher with four years of experience in that school district had a base salary of $59,721, or 33% more than Goshorn’s base salary.

A National Education Association survey reports that the average teacher salary in 2021 was $67,507. That’s higher than the average inflation-adjusted teacher salary of $59,693 in 1970, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

But teachers’ salaries are difficult to sum up in a single salary figure. Teacher salaries can vary widely, depending on the size and location of the school district.

While a first-grade teacher in Jackson, Mississippi earned $39,318 in 2021, 1,400 miles away, a veteran teacher in Boston had a gross salary of $154,968 in the same year. But the cost of living plays a role in teacher compensation. The median rent in Jackson was $856 per month from 2016 to 2020, compared to $1,685 in Boston, according to the U.S. Census.

In Seattle, a teacher with 15 years of experience and a master’s degree can have a base salary of $121,138. This teacher with the same credentials in the public school district of Norman, Okla. would have a base salary of $54,296. That same teacher would have a base salary of $65,559 in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools in North Carolina and $126,103 in Scarsdale, New York Public School District.

The vast majority of teachers in the United States are paid based on two criteria – years of service and level of college credits earned.

The base salaries reported in this story are taken from teacher salary scales and do not include the cost of benefits or any additional compensation for taking on elective duties such as teaching summer school or coaching students. ‘a team.

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