Special Report

These States Pay Their Teachers The Least


To determine the states paying teachers the most and least, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on average annual salary for teachers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2020 Occupational Employment Statistics program. States were ranked based on the weighted average annual salary among elementary school teachers (OCC code: 25-2021), middle school teachers (OCC code: 25-2022), and secondary school teachers (OCC code: 25-2031). We weighted the average salaries across the three teacher job types using data on total employment from the BLS May 2020 OES, and then adjusted the average annual salary for cost of living using 2019 regional price parity from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Special education and career or technical education teachers were excluded from the analysis.

Supplemental data on average per-pupil expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools in fiscal 2018 came from the Census Bureau’s 2018 Annual Survey of School System Finances.

Data on the public high school four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate came from the National Center for Education Statistics and is for the 2017-18 school year. The ACGR measures the percentage of public school students who attain a regular high school diploma within four years of starting ninth grade. The cohort is adjusted by adding students who transfer in during those four years and by subtracting students who transfer out.