Others say the issue is one of priorities, pointing to big increases in nonteaching school staff, like aides, custodians, and counselors, and greater teacher retirement costs.
Higher pay means teachers are more likely to stay in the classroom. That’s linked to increased student achievement.
There’s a lot of variation in how much teachers are paid, with particularly low pay in Arizona, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. Teacher pay ranges from an average of about $42,000 a year in South Dakota to nearly $80,000 in New York. Another report, from the Education Law Center, which supports more school funding, compares early career teachers’ pay (not including benefits) to pay for similarly educated young professionals in each state. In almost all cases, teachers are paid less. Teachers in Arizona made 73 percent of similar nonteachers, among the worst in the country. Teachers in Oklahoma (78 percent) and West Virginia (79 percent) didn’t have it much better. Kentucky teachers actually came out ahead of teachers elsewhere but still lagged behind nonteachers.
Higher pay means teachers are more likely to stay in the classroom. That’s linked to increased student achievement. The policy argument for paying teachers more is straightforward: You’ll attract and keep better teachers. That’s largely backed up by research. Several studies have shown that even relatively modest increases in teacher pay can decrease teacher turnover.
“Unsustainable benefit growth”.