Teacher Pay: How It’s Playing Out in Minnesota
UNDATED -- Thousands of teachers in a number of states have been protesting at their state capitols, demanding higher pay and better benefits. Is it a movement that we could eventually see here in Minnesota?
Denise Specht is the President of Education Minnesota, the statewide teachers union. She says a massive protest isn't likely any time soon, but that doesn't mean teachers aren't walking away from the profession.
I've been seeing teachers walk out of teaching all the time. We might not see these big organized demonstrations like we're seeing right now in other states, but I see teachers leaving the profession in droves. And that's a big problem here in Minnesota.
Specht says the other big issue is that young people aren't getting into the profession, to begin with, due to the low salaries.
The average salary for teachers in Minnesota is $56,913 a year, which is below the national average of $58,353. Minnesota ranks 19th for average teacher salary in the United States.
In the states where teachers have been protesting, the average teacher salary in West Virginia and Oklahoma is about $45,000 a year, in Arizona, it is about $47,000, and in Kentucky, it's about $52,000.