Rating the raises: Where does your state rank for teacher salary growth?

The NEA teachers union has mapped out swings in teacher pay for all 50 states, showing declines in only three.
By: | May 19, 2022
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The confluence of funding surpluses and economic turbulence is freeing some district leaders to raise teachers’ salaries while others impose layoffs.

Teachers in Spring ISD learned this week that their salaries will be increasing by at least 5%, with more experienced educators getting bigger raises. The suburban Houston district also raised starting teacher salaries to $60,500 per year and increased pay for paraprofessionals and other support staff.

In Arizona, Tucson USD gave teachers raises of $2,500 or more—the biggest increases in the district’s history, KGUN9 reported. Teachers in Tennessee’s Knox County Schools will get a 4% increase in 2022-23, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.


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But the Marysville School District in Washington just laid off 35 teachers and has imposed a hiring freeze after a pair of proposed tax levies failed, preventing the district from covering state funding shortfalls. Montclair Public Schools in New Jersey this week issued nonrenewal letters to 35 teachers and 48 paraprofessionals to cover a $3 million budget deficit, Montclair Local News reported. A decline in kindergarten enrollment caused by the pandemic has now filtered up through the elementary grades, according to the website.

The NEA teachers union has mapped out swings in teacher pay for all 50 states, showing salaries declined in only three from 2019-2020 to 2020-21. Though the raises didn’t substantially alter each state’s place in the overall rankings for average teacher pay, some rose or fell a few spots. Kansas, for example, climbed from 41st to 37th while North Dakota rose from 36th to 33rd. Missouri slipped from 45th to 47th.

Here’s a look at where teacher salaries increased (or decreased) the most from 2019-2020 to 2020-21:

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  1. Hawaii: 8.43% ( $65,409→$70,922)
  2. Minnesota: 6.17% ($62,695→$66,561)
  3. Utah: 4.66% ($54,678→$57,226 29)
  4. Florida:3.88% ($49,102→49 $51,009)
  5. Illinois: 3.85% ($68,083→$70,705)
  6. New Hampshire: 3.74% ($59,622→$61,849)
  7. Washington: 3.45% ($76,743→$79,388)
  8. Maine: 3.42% ($55,276→$57,167)
  9. Kansas: 2.95% ($52,081→$53,619)
  10. Ohio: 2.73% ($61,406→$63,082)
  11. Arizona: 2.71% ($50,782→$52,157)
  12. Nevada: 2.64% ($56,672→$58,167)
  13. Indiana: 2.56% ($51,745→$53,072)
  14. Massachusetts: 2.48% ($84,659→$86,755)
  15. North Dakota: 2.45% ($53,525→$54,837)
  16. Arkansas: 2.40% ($50,456→$51,668)
  17. Nebraska: 2.16% ($55,267→$56,463)
  18. New York: 2.08% ($88,381→$90,222)
  19. Tennessee: 1.95% ($51,862→$52,871 42)
  20. Montana: 1.91% $52,135→$53,133 40)
  21. Louisiana: 1.76% ($51,566→$52,472)
  22. New Jersey: 1.70% ($76,376→$77,677)
  23. Connecticut: 1.68% ($78,427→$79,742)
  24. District of Columbia: 1.65% ($79,350→$80,659)
  25. Pennsylvania: 1.62% ($70,339→$71,479)
  26. California: 1.57% ($84,531→$85,856)
  27. Alaska: 1.46% ($72,010→$73,061)
  28. Missouri: 1.46% ($50,817→$51,557)
  29. Virginia: 1.46% ($57,665→$58,506)
  30. Oregon: 1.30% ($67,685→$68,565)
  31. New Mexico: 1.23% ($54,256→$54,923)
  32. Oklahoma: 1.23% ($54,096→$54,762)
  33. South Dakota: 1.15% ($48,984→$49,547)
  34. Iowa: 1.11% ($58,184→$58,831)
  35. Michigan: 1.09% ($63,568→$64,262)
  36. Texas: 0.96% ($57,091→$57,641)
  37. Wisconsin: 0.94% ($59,431→$59,992)
  38. Rhode Island: 0.84% ($75,336→$75,966)
  39. Colorado: 0.83% ($57,706→$58,183)
  40. Maryland: 0.77%  ($73,444→$74,006)
  41. Wyoming: 0.75% ($59,786→$60,234)
  42. Vermont: 0.56% ($62,135→$62,483)
  43. Kentucky: 0.43% ($53,907→$54,139)
  44. North Carolina: 0.35% ($53,273→$53,458)
  45. Alabama: 0.33% ($54,095→$54,271)
  46. West Virginia: 0.05% ($50,238→$50,261)
  47. Delaware: 0.04% ($65,116→$65,141)
  48. Mississippi: 0.04% ($46,843→$46,862)
  49. Georgia: -0.04% ($60,578←$60,553)
  50. South Carolina: -0.26%  ($53,329←$53,188)
  51. Idaho: -2.00% ($52,875←$51,817)

NEA also collected data on salaries for paraprofessionals and support staff. The states with the highest pay for those educators are New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Washington, D.C., and Massachusetts. The bottom five are Mississippi, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota and Idaho.