Teacher Pay Raises?

By: Adam Kramer
By: Adam Kramer

Is a pay raise in the works for Virginia teachers?



Lt Governor Tim Kaine wants to raise teacher salaries by more than $3,000.



Superintendent of Waynesboro Schools Lowell Lemons said he is just one of many who supports the average teacher salary increase to $43,000.



"I think it would be good for the Valley, maybe teachers would be flocking to our schools instead of rural Virginia," said Lemons.



According to Lemons, valley schools need a boost. The starting salary of a teacher in Waynesboro is $30,000. Compared to Augusta County's starting salary $28,000 and Rockingham County's salary of $28,444, the Valley is due for an increase.



"We need the help if we want to attract and keep good educators," said Lemmons.



Kaine's plan would amend the state constitution to require state government to provide some level of funding for public education. As of right now, the state constitution puts the burden of public education on localities.



Extended Web Coverage



Teacher Salaries for 2000-2001



Beginning teacher salaries have continued to improve in response to the nationwide teacher shortage, increasing more than four percent in each of the past two years. On the other hand, the pay hike for experienced teachers was less impressive in 2000-01, increasing just 3.4 percent over the prior year.

Improved pay for new teachers helps school districts compete for new college graduates, but these graduates are receiving average offers of $42,712 in fields other than teaching, while the average salary for beginning teachers is just under $29,000.

Teacher salaries vary considerably across the states. Connecticut had the highest average salary at $53,507. The other top five states were California at $52,480, New Jersey at $51,955, New York at $51,020 and Michigan at $50,515. South Dakota had the lowest average salary at $30,265.

A couple of states increased teacher salaries by an unusual amount in 2000-01. California teacher salaries spiked 10.1 percent, improving the state’s rank from seventh to second. Oklahoma raised its rank from 50th to 48th by providing the largest increase of any state—10.2 percent. Other than California and Oklahoma, no other state had an increase exceeding 6 percent. Average salaries in Hawaii declined due to increased hiring of new teachers to replace experienced teachers who retired. Mississippi, New Jersey and New York had salary increases of less than 1 percent.





































































































































































































































































































































Average
Teacher Salary in 2000-01 State Rankings
Rank State Average
Salary
Percent
of U.S. Average
1 Connecticut $53,507 123.7%
2 California $52,480 121.3%
3 New Jersey $51,955 120.1%
4 New York $51,020 118.0%
5 Michigan $50,515 116.8%
6 Rhode Island $50,400 116.5%
7 Pennsylvania $49,528 114.5%
8 District of Columbia $48,488 112.1%
9 Alaska $48,123 111.3%
10 Illinois $47,865 110.7%
11 Massachusetts $47,789 110.5%
12 Delaware $47,047 108.8%
13 Maryland $45,963 106.3%
14 Oregon $44,988 104.0%
15 Nevada $44,234 102.3%
16 Indiana $43,000 99.4%
17 Ohio $42,892 99.2%
18 Minnesota $42,212 97.6%
19 Washington $42,143 97.4%
20 Georgia $42,141 97.4%
21 North Carolina $41,496 95.9%
22 Wisconsin $40,939 94.7%
23 Hawaii $40,536 93.7%
24 Virginia $40,247 93.1%
25 Colorado $39,184 90.6%
26 Texas $38,359 88.7%
27 New Hampshire $38,301 88.6%
28 Vermont $38,254 88.4%
29 Florida $38,230 88.4%
30 South Carolina $37,938 87.7%
31 Alabama $37,606 87.0%
32 Tennessee $37,413 86.5%
33 Idaho $37,109 85.8%
34 Kentucky $36,688 84.8%
35 Arizona $36,502 84.4%
36 Iowa $36,479 84.3%
37 Utah $36,441 84.3%
38 Maine $36,373 84.1%
39 West Virginia $35,888 83.0%
40 Kansas $35,766 82.7%
41 Missouri $35,091 81.1%
42 Arkansas $34,729 80.3%
43 Wyoming $34,678 80.2%
44 Nebraska $34,258 79.2%
45 Louisiana $33,615 77.7%
46 New Mexico $33,531 77.5%
47 Montana $33,249 76.9%
48 Oklahoma $32,545 75.2%
49 Mississippi $31,954 73.9%
50 North Dakota $30,891 71.4%
51 South Dakota $30,265 70.0%
U.S.
Average
$43,250 100.0%
 


Source: www.aft.org (American Federation of Teachers Web site) contributed to this report.


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