Virginia teachers have one of the biggest pay gaps in the country
Virginia is the third worst in the nation when it comes to the teacher pay gap, which measures teacher pay compared to other college-educated professionals.
By the numbers: Virginia teachers make 32.7% less than college-educated workers in other fields, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute.
- The national average teacher pay gap is 23.5%.
- Only Colorado and Oklahoma have a pay gap larger than Virginia’s.
Context: EPI’s report looks at weekly wages as opposed to annual salary to factor in the “‘summers off’ issue for teachers.”
- Pay was one of the biggest reasons teachers have considered leaving the field, according to a January survey by the National Education Association.
Zoom in: The average annual salary for teachers in Virginia — regardless of education, tenure or district — was $58,000, compared to the national average of $65,293, according to a 2022 National Education Association report.
Of note: Teachers and other state employees will get a 10% raise over the next two years in the latest budget, and some districts have included additional teacher raises in their own budgets.
- Chesterfield bumped starting pay for new teachers by 7.9% this year and will implement a new pay plan for existing teachers next year, per Chesterfield Observer.
- Henrico approved a 5% increase for all county workers this year, Henrico Citizen reported.
- Richmond approved a 3% salary increase for teachers this year, WWBT reported.
Zoom out: On the national level, inflation-adjusted wages for teachers have remained essentially flat since 1996, increasing just $29 a week (in 2021 dollars), the institute found, noting that the 2021 teacher gap penalty is the largest in the 18-year history of the study.
- College graduates who don't teach saw wages increase $445 per week, adjusted for inflation.
Yes, but: Teachers typically receive better retirement benefits than private-sector employers, offsetting some of the wage disparity.
- Still, U.S. teachers' total compensation, including benefits, was more than 14% lower than their non-teaching peers.
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