Join millions of voices fighting for our nation's public school students and educators.

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How Much are Educators Worth?

Educators don’t enter the profession expecting to get rich. They do it because they love teaching and because they have an unwavering belief in their students. Yet, the sad truth is that many teachers aren’t earning enough to make ends meet and finding it harder and harder to support their families. To make matters worse, the pay gap between educators and other professionals is vast and growing, forcing many educators out of the profession and creating a teacher shortage crisis that threatens our students and communities.

Each year, NEA publishes data on teacher salary. We collect statistics from state departments of education and 11,675 school districts, which account for 94 percent of all full-time educators. Over the last decade, average educator pay has declined, when controlled for inflation.

AL

AK

AZ

AR

CA

CO

CT

CT
DE

DE
DC

DC
FL

GA

HI

ID

IL

IN

IA

KS

KY

LA

ME

MD

MD
MA

MA
MI

MN

MS

MO

MT

NE

NV

NH

NH
NJ

NJ
NM

NY

NC

ND

OH

OK

OR

PA

RI

RI
SC

SD

TN

TX

UT

VT

VT
VA

WA

WV

WI

WY

National Avg. Starting Salary1

$39,249

National Avg. Salary2

$60,477

Teacher Pay Gap3

79¢on the
dollar

Per Student Spending4

$12,602

 

1* State Teacher Salary Benchmark Data, FY 2017-18, NEA CBMA, March 2019

2* State Rankings, FY 2017-18, NEA Research, April 2019

3* Compared to other professionals with the same education and years of experience. Economic Policy Institute, April 2019

4* Expenditure per student in fall enrollment. State Rankings, FY 2017-18, NEA Research, April 2019

Note: NEA salary data are not adjusted for cost of living. If you are interested in exploring how the cost of living varies by locality, we recommend the BEA Regional Price Parities (RPP) data and calculator available here.

 

1* State Teacher Salary Benchmark Data, FY 2017-18, NEA CBMA, March 2019

2* State Rankings, FY 2017-18, NEA Research, April 2019

3* Compared to other professionals with the same education and years of experience. Economic Policy Institute, April 2019

4* Expenditure per student in fall enrollment. State Rankings, FY 2017-18, NEA Research, April 2019

Note: NEA salary data are not adjusted for cost of living. If you are interested in exploring how the cost of living varies by locality, we recommend the BEA Regional Price Parities (RPP) data and calculator available here.

WHAT IS RED FOR ED?

When we think about the promise of education today, we see the future leaders of our nation and the qualified educators who reach, teach and inspire them. We see classrooms with modern tools that help students prepare to make an impact on the world. We see students getting the support they need to thrive and educators having the support they need to serve.

We see progress and hope.

But today we also see budgets being cut, overcrowded classrooms and outdated materials. We see educators working around the clock to make a difference in the lives of their students and standing up to lawmakers to ask for better pay and school funding. We're raising our voices together for our students, for our schools and for ourselves as educators.

That's why we’re wearing Red for Ed.

What began in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Kentucky, and North Carolina is continuing across the country as educators and their students make their voices heard for strong public schools. For as little as $3, NEA members can support states in their work actions by making a contribution. Donated funds help pay for the signs, the water, the pizza, the organizers supporting people on location and everything else it takes to run a state-wide action.

DID YOU KNOW?

1out of5

teachers must take another job to make ends meet.

71%

of people think teachers are not paid enough.

16%

less funding goes to districts with the highest poverty.

OUR FIGHT

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Fighting for Our Students

Budget cuts and underfunding have made it harder for educators to prepare their students. Our students deserve better, and so do we. That's why we push public officials to make funding decisions that better account for school needs.

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Upholding our Value

Students benefit from educators who know them by name, know their community and have a say in the policies that govern their schools. We must ensure that talented educators can afford to stay in the profession they love.

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Advocating for Change

NEA gives educators a voice to advocate for the better pay, benefits and working conditions that have long been ignored. We deserve, and have earned, pay and benefits that match our expertise, education and professional experience.

#REDFORED IN ACTION