Schools around the country are having difficulty filling vacancies for instructors. It’s been an issue for years, but the epidemic has exacerbated the teacher shortage dilemma, which appears to have no end in sight.
While there are a variety of variables contributing to teacher shortages, the most obvious issue is that teacher pay have remained relatively flat over time, especially when it comes to new teacher beginning salary.
In fact, after accounting for inflation, new teachers earn roughly 11 percent less than they did 30 years ago, according to research.
A first-year teacher would be earning $46,762 per year right now if beginning salary for new teachers had kept up with inflation over the previous three decades. Instead, according to estimations, a new teacher’s average yearly salary is roughly $41,780.
That’s a difference of about $4,982 a year, reflecting an earnings reduction of just under 11 percent .
And, if gas prices rise to new highs, driving up the cost of commuting, and inflation continues to rise with no end in sight, the gap between what new teachers should be making and what they actually take home will likely grow even further.
Not only that, but it was discovered that a first-year teacher earns around 25% less per year than the average fresh college graduate, who earns more than $55,000 per year.
With all of this in mind, it’s certainly not shocking to see that enrollment in education degrees is falling, implying that there will be fewer new teachers in the future years, according to several studies.
“The severity of the teacher shortage crisis cannot be overstated,” said Scott Winstead, founder of My eLearning World. “We simply do not have enough new teachers to fill the vacancies, and it’s starting to affect the quality of education and support our students are receiving. A shortage of teachers means more crowded classrooms, less one-on-one support for students, and potentially even some schools being forced to close.”
Furthermore, there are 567,000 fewer teachers on the job now than there were before the epidemic, and a recent poll indicated that 55% of those currently teaching intend to retire sooner than they had expected.
“School staffing shortages are not new, but what we are seeing now, is an unprecedented staffing crisis across every job category,” said National Education Association President Becky Pringle in a recent news release.
Recent measures have been introduced and in some cases previously approved in numerous states around the country, including Illinois, New Mexico, and Texas, among others, to raise minimum teacher pay in the aim of combating educator shortages.
Winstead said, “Recent surveys have found that the majority of parents don’t want their kids to pursue a career in teaching. We have to find a way to make teaching a more enticing profession to enter, and one of the best ways to do that is by increasing pay for teachers.”
The following article is paraphrased from the following: New Teachers are Earning 11% Less Than They Were 30 Years Ago, My eLearning World, 03/22/2022 , https://myelearningworld.com/new-teacher-pay/