Aug 19, 2022 - News

Pennsylvania teachers get shortchanged

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

Pennsylvania public school teachers earn 15.2% less than their college-educated counterparts in other fields.

  • That's according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute, which advocates for fair pay for low- and middle-income workers.

Why it matters: Teacher shortages are hitting schools in Philly and across the country, and this pay gap can exacerbate shortages and discourage college students from entering the profession, the 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 over the decades, increasing just $29 from 1996 to 2021, the institute found.
  • College graduates in other professions saw wages increase $445 in the same period.

Zoom in: First-year teacher salaries for those with only a bachelor's degree start at nearly $48,500 annually in the School District of Philadelphia.

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

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