The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

1 December 2004

Some green with that apple?

The National Education Association has released its annual teacher-salary survey, and once again Oklahoma is near the bottom: 50th, at $35,061. Only South Dakota ranks lower.

These figures do not take into account recent legislative moves to increase teacher pay and benefits, which will not be reflected in the NEA's numbers for at least a year.

The connection between teacher salaries and quality of education is at best somewhat frayed: the District of Columbia, ranked at a lofty #3 by NEA at $57,009, has some major problems in its schools. And Oklahoma's low cost of living, relatively low taxes, and (once fully in place) competitive benefits package tend to offset the low salary numbers.

Still, it is true that many teachers have left the classroom for greener pastures, and retention of experienced teachers is certainly a worthy goal. NEA's focus on salaries is to be expected — it is a labor union, after all — but last I looked, about 50 percent of teachers were paid salaries below the national median, and this isn't going to change no matter how many surveys get published.

Posted at 7:50 AM to Almost Yogurt

I taught one year, but couldn't keep it up. IMO, when teachers are moving to Texas, salaries are still too low.

Posted by: Dan at 1:19 PM on 1 December 2004

Oh yeah - and where does our legislature rank in pay?

#1 for part-timers.

Posted by: Dan at 1:20 PM on 1 December 2004

Some of them I'd gladly pay to stay home.

Posted by: CGHill at 1:23 PM on 1 December 2004

Can you link me directly to the list of salaries? I hate the email/password crap of enrolling to the newspaper. I did it last fall and I forgot the password. Now it asks me for it; I tried to do the "forgot password?" route, I do what it tells me to and all it does is bring me back to the signon screen for the newspaper.

Posted by: Vickie at 4:33 PM on 1 December 2004

The newspaper listed only the top and bottom five; the NEA has put out an eight-page brochure — the salaries are on page 3 — which is at [link requires Adobe Reader]. (FYI, Connecticut is #2, as it was last year.)

Posted by: CGHill at 6:07 PM on 1 December 2004