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The Average Teacher's Salary In Every State, Mapped

The National Education Association has released a map outlining the average salary for teachers in each of the 50 United States. It's a testament to how underpaid American teachers are.


Teachers say they don't get into the profession for the money. And it's time we start believing them. In many cases, teachers have to work additional jobs just to make ends meet, due to soaring costs of living, health insurance premiums, and wages that are actually beginning to decline.

National Education Association

Some teachers have to manage classes of up to 35 students, and that many teachers have to resort to paying for classroom supplies out of their own pockets, which further demonstrates their commitment to their students and their profession. Linda Darling-Hammond, president and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute, said that some teachers with families of four even qualify for government assistance "so their own kids could be on food stamps or free lunch in school."

In recent years, teachers in many cities and states have been subject to hiring and pay freezes, and even layoffs, like the country saw during the 2008 financial crisis.

You would think that having an educated population would help prevent future financial catastrophes.

So what does the map tell us?

According to the data compiled by the National Education Association, New York has the highest teacher salaries in the United States, with educators earning, on average, $79,152 per year. The lowest-paid teachers are in South Dakota, earning $42,025 per year. The national average is $58,353, however teacher pay in 36 states falls short of this.

Teachers in lower-wage states, including Oklahoma, West Virginia, Colorado, Arizona and North Carolina have held strikes and protests in recent months. Some minor victories, like small pay increases (Arizona agreed to a 20 percent pay increase through (2020) and increased funding for classroom support, have been won, but most educators believe that this simply doesn't go far enough.

Supporters of teachers shared their thoughts on Twitter, saying that we need to value teachers because a healthy society depends upon quality education.