Aug 18, 2022 - News

Texas teachers are paid nearly 22% less than other college grads

Teacher pay gap, by state
Reproduced from EPI; Map: Axios Visuals

Texas public school teachers get paid 21.5% less than other college graduates, according to the Economic Policy Institute, which advocates for fair pay for low- and middle-income workers.

Why it matters: Schools are already struggling with teacher shortages, and this pay gap can exacerbate the current conditions and discourage college students from entering the profession, the new report says.

The big picture: The national pay gap between teachers and similarly educated non-teachers grew to a record 23.5% in 2021.

  • Inflation-adjusted weekly wages for teachers have remained essentially flat since 1996, increasing just $29 compared to 2021 figures, the institute found.
  • College graduates in other professions saw wages increase $445 in the same period.

Yes, but: The Texas teacher pay gap is not the absolute worst — Colorado's is 35.9% ... yikes!

  • The smallest pay gap is Rhode Island at 3.4%.

The Texas Education Agency's minimum salary for teachers with zero experience is $33,660 in the 2021-22 school year.

Zoom in: Houston ISD raised all teacher salaries by 11% for the 2022-23 school year to be competitive with other districts in the region. Starting pay is now $61,500.


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