Over the last decade, teacher pay declined after inflation in every state, claims the National Education Association.
Not so. Teacher pay rose in 36 states after inflation, responds Jay P. Greene, looking at the NEA’s own data.
. . . we see that salaries increased by 3.4% nationwide over the last decade after adjusting for inflation. The increase in average salary outpaced inflation in 36 states
. . . total compensation for public school teachers has risen much more rapidly than just salary because of the rising value of benefits. In addition, the numbers the NEA provides are the increase in the average salary, not the increase for the average teacher. The huge increase in new teachers over the last decade who begin with lower starting salaries makes the rise in average salary smaller than the average raise that each individual teacher has received.
According to the NEA, the average teacher in 2008-09 was paid $54,319, excluding benefits, Greene notes. The average school revenue per pupil was $11,681, up from the previous year.
Update: The NEA has revised its press release to say teachers have lost ground in “many states.”