Why teacher salaries are flat as school spending soars

In Politics by Michael Rae

In a recent poll published by Harvard’s Education Next, 60 percent of respondents, and nearly half the Republicans surveyed, thought teachers should be paid more than their statewide average. With red states such as Florida, Oklahoma, and Iowa prioritizing the issue in 2022, an important question policymakers should be asking is why record levels of public-education spending haven’t already led to teachers being paid more.

Nationwide, inflation-adjusted average teacher salaries have been nearly flat since the turn of the century, going from $64,986 in 2000 to $65,090 in 2021. But there’s significant variation among states, with inflation-adjusted pay increasing by 10 percent or more in nine

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