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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

California teachers seek 50% pay raise

Raising teacher and staff pay by 50 percent over seven years is "a big and bold idea," says the president of the California Federation of Teachers. A bill setting the pay-raise target, but not guaranteeing funding, has passed out of the Assembly Education Committee, reports John Woolfolk and Elissa Miolene of Bay Area News Group.

The pay increases wouldn't be limited to teachers with hard-to-find skills, such as special education, math or physics. Support staff, including bus drivers, cafeteria workers and custodians would be included.

Pay varies in California, but the average public K-12 teacher salary is $87,275 Woolfolk and Miolene report, third-highest in the U.S., behind New York’s $92,222 and Massachusetts’ $88,903. "Both those states boasted better 8th grade math and reading scores in 2022 than California, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress," they add.

Scores also are higher in Florida, where the average public school teacher earns $51,230. Texas, where average pay is $58,887, "had better 8th grade math scores than California last year, though reading scores were lower."

California's teacher shortage is easing, reports EdSource. The number of new teachers earning credentials increased by 35 percent from 2017 to 2021, according to the Learning Policy Institute.

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