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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Arkansas raised teacher pay, but some are unhappy

Arkansas raised teacher pay statewide -- a lot -- but some teachers aren't happy, writes

Ariel Gilreath on the Hechinger Report. "Because of the new law, in more than half of the state’s school districts, every teacher made the same salary this year, regardless of years of experience."

Starting pay for teachers is way up in Arkansas.

She talks to a new teacher who thought she'd have to start at $36,000 in a rural district, but saw pay jump to $50,000 because of the state law. Teachers who spent decades getting to that point are miffed.

The higher pay makes it much easier for rural districts to recruit and retain teachers.

Earning an advanced degree won't lead to higher pay in most cases, so graduate education programs could be hard hit. (There's no evidence that teachers with a master's are more effective.)

“Effective” teachers could earn a bonus at the end of the school year, writes Gilbreath, "but the rules have yet to be finalized on what 'effective' looks like or exactly how much teachers will get."

Nationwide, the average compensation for teachers -- pay and benefits -- exceeds $100,000, as of 2021-22, according to Just Facts. That includes $66,397 in salary and $34,090 in benefits (such as health insurance, paid leave, and pensions).

124 views2 comments


Jun 25

Nothing says "we appreciate all the hard work you've done and the years you've put in" like giving someone with no idea how to teach anything the same pay as you. I'd argue that in teaching (and maybe in many jobs) about the only recognition that makes any difference at all is the recognition that goes along with "you are worth more to us".

Addressing another point in the article, wish we'd get rid of "advanced degree" money. It's crap. I have a degree in Aerospace Engineering, a post-baccalaureate credential that adds up to about the same number of credits as a Master's Degree, and I get paid $10,000 less, even with 19 years of experience. It's ridiculous. No…


Jun 24

I teach in a well regarded suburban Texas district. Our district uses something called a mid-point criteria, which basically means, rookie pay jumps significantly every year, while we on the other side of the experience pool never even get close to the supposed percentage of the pay raise.

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