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ERIC Number: ED593401
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Sep-5
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
The Teacher Pay Penalty Has Hit a New High: Trends in the Teacher Wage and Compensation Gaps through 2017
Allegretto, Sylvia; Mishel, Lawrence
Economic Policy Institute
Teacher strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Colorado have raised the profile of deteriorating teacher pay as a critical public policy issue. Teachers and parents are protesting cutbacks in education spending and a squeeze on teacher pay that persist well into the economic recovery from the Great Recession. This paper underscores the crisis in teacher pay by updating the data series on the teacher pay penalty--the percent by which public school teachers are paid less than comparable workers. Providing teachers with a decent middle-class living commensurate with other professionals with similar education is not simply a matter of fairness. Effective teachers are the most important school-based determinant of student educational performance. To address teacher shortages, it is necessary to focus on both recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers. Many policies are needed to accomplish this goal, and providing appropriate compensation is a necessary, major tool in addressing shortages. The examination of the teacher compensation penalty (combining wage and benefit data) begins in 1994, the earliest year for which teacher benefit data are available. With this update, the authors continue to sound the alarm regarding the long-run growth in the pay penalty. The authors also provide estimates of teacher wage penalties by state. Following are key highlights of the report: (1) the mid-1990s marks the start of a period of sharply eroding teacher pay and an escalating teacher pay penalty; (2) wage penalties have grown significantly for both male and female teachers; (3) improvements in benefits relative to professionals have not been enough to offset the growing teacher wage penalty; (4) teacher wage and compensation penalties grew from 2015 to 2017; and (5) the Great Recession can't be blamed for the erosion in teacher pay. ["The Teacher Pay Penalty Has Hit a New High: Trends in the Teacher Wage and Compensation Gaps through 2017" was also produced by the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics (CWED).]
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Economic Policy Institute