“There is no state where teacher wages are equal to or better than those of other college graduates,” says Sylvia Allegretto, an economist at the Center for Economic Policy. According to Allegretto, while the average weekly pay for college-educated workers in the U.S. is $1,428, the average teacher makes only 77% of this amount.

In most cases, these gaps are wider than average in the states where teachers have recently threatened or staged walk-outs over wage stagnation. In West Virginia, teachers are paid only 75 cents to every dollar earned by other college graduates. Oklahoma teachers make 67% of a college graduate’s pay, and Arizona’s teachers make 63%. Kentucky’s pay gap is just above the average at 79 cents to every dollar.

Accounting for inflation, teachers’ pay has fallen by $30 per week over the last two decades.

Teacher shortages are growing in many states, as college-educated graduates are saddled with more student loans and debt; the cost of education rises; and teacher salaries are decreasing. Many teachers in high-cost cities like San Francisco and New York City are struggling to afford housing close to the schools where they work: In Miami, as Governing’s Natalie Delgadillo reports, Miami lawmakers have proposed building on-campus housing for the faculty (a solution that teachers are less than enthused about).

Read More