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Study Finds Teacher Salaries Rise Too Slowly

A recent study by an advocacy group, which advocates for tougher teacher training requirements found that,"despite being virtually guaranteed annual raises for many years in their professional careers, most teachers see their pay rise far more slowly than those in other professions,"The Times Leader reported.

The report examined how long it takes teachers to reach the top of their district's pay scale, how starting and top salaries compare, how many years it takes to hit $75,000, and how much a teacher can expect to earn in 30 years.

Key findings included:

Starting and ending salaries don't, on their own make a district competitive.

The maximum salary a teacher can earn after 30 years ranged from $52,325 in Oklahoma City to $106,540 in the District of Columbia Adjusted for cost of living, the maximum pay in New York City"has the buying power of just $23,200,"while in Columbus, Ohio, the maximum adjusts to $100,400.

It takes teachers an average of 24 years to reach maximum pay.

The time it takes to hit $75,000 ranges from seven years in Boston to over 30 years in Wichita, Kansas.

"The speed of income growth has a dramatic impact on how much a teacher will take home over the course of a career, which is a little-considered feature of teachers' pay packages that accounts for tremendous disparities in teachers' overall earnings," according to the report. The analysis is based on 2013-2014 teacher salary data from 113 school districts across the country, including the 50 largest districts in the nation as well as the largest district in each state.

"Drawing from NCTQ's Teacher Contract Database and applying consistent assumptions for the educational credits and degrees typically earned by teachers over a 30-year career, we found substantial variation in pay, leading to considerable differences in what teachers can earn over the course of their career and what they can afford to buy with their earning,"the report said.

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