Teacher Pay

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Teacher Pay is a controversial subject in the United States.

Facts about Teacher Pay

  • Public school teachers make $43,000 a year, on average compared to $40,100 for other full-time workers.[1]
  • Public school teachers make an average of 61% more per hour than private school teachers.[2]
  • The average retirement age for teachers is 59, compared to 64 for other professions.
  • Teachers make an average of $34.06 an hour,[3] not counting time spent working after contract hours, grading homework, volunteering with students, working extra duties (games, family night, etc.), attending mandatory meetings, etc.
  • Teachers have almost complete job security.
  • Public school teachers have a benefits package worth 26% of their salary on average, compared to 17% for private school teachers.
  • Over 20,000 teachers in the US are making more than $100,000 via liberal experimentation in the education system.[Citation Needed]
  • Because of teacher unions, incompetent teachers receive the same wages as other teachers and are difficult to fire.

Teacher Opposition to Issues Regarding Pay

Teachers are generally against a school voucher program, stating that it would lower teacher pay. Teachers are also against the concept of merit pay (whereby teachers whose students perform well on standardized tests are rewarded). As a result, the public school system promotes generalized mediocrity amongst teachers and allows underperforming teachers to remain employed. Many conservatives believe the competition for good teachers in a free market would substantially increase teacher pay. Others believe that teachers would be penalized for working in poor, underperforming districts.

Teachers generally oppose charter schools and homeschooling.


  1. Coulter, 2006
  2. How Much Are Public School Teachers Paid?, Jay P. Greene and Marcus A. Winters, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, January 2007
  3. 2005 data