August 17, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – Pay and benefits for American public-school teachers have fallen significantly behind what other college graduates earn over the last 20 years 1994, says a report released by the Economic Policy Institute Aug. 9.
Teachers’ average weekly wages, the report said, actually decreased by $30 a week after inflation from 1996 to 2015, from $1,122 to $1,092 (in 2015 dollars), while the average weekly wages of all college graduates rose from $1,292 to $1,416. Teachers now make 17% less than other workers of similar age, education, and experience, a gap that has grown from 1.8% in 1994. “Even worse, the gap is bigger for more experienced teachers, meaning that the more expertise teachers develop, the less they’re rewarded for it,” American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten responded. “This report is a scathing indictment of how this country values educators. It highlights the hypocrisy of paying lip service to the importance of teaching and teachers while simultaneously failing to invest in educators, students and the schools in which they teach and learn.” The pay gap was even larger for nonunion teachers, at 25%. Read more