The National Education Association’s annual study shows Kentucky’s average teacher compensation falling from 35th to 36th in the country last school year.
Over the last decade, when inflation is taken into account, the average teacher income in Kentucky has decreased by more than 11 percent.
There is a scarcity of teachers in Kentucky, according to a representative for the Kentucky Education Association (KEA).
“The best way to recruit and retain high-quality educators is to pay a professional salary,” he added, stressing that many instructors may transfer their expertise to the private sector where they may make more.
Kentucky’s average teacher compensation climbed slightly from 2019-2020 to 2020-2021, according to the NEA, which reported a rise from $53,907 to $54,139. However, the modest rise was not enough to keep pace with the bigger increases in other states..
In comparison to the rest of the country, the average teacher income in Kentucky is $11,000 less.
Compared to teachers in West Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee, and Indiana (all of which pay less than $50,000), the state’s teachers are paid more. Teachers in Ohio ($63,082) and Illinois ($70,705), on the other hand, earn much higher money.
Kentucky’s average teacher compensation, according to the data, has risen slightly to $54,574 for the current school year.
For per-pupil expenditures, Kentucky slipped from 32nd to 35th nationally, with an average expenditure of $12,103 per student in 2020-2021. Compared to other states, it has the second-lowest per-pupil expenditure rise in the country.
An analysis conducted by the left-leaning Kentucky Center for Economic Policy found that, when inflation is taken into account, the state’s contribution to per-pupil financing has decreased by 26% since 2008.
After rejecting a proposal from Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, the Republican-led General Assembly of Kentucky enacted its budget this spring without giving teachers increases. A 8% pay hike for non-school state workers was approved by the legislators.
In the wake of the General Assembly’s 8 percent increase for all state workers, Patterson stated, “I think most teachers would consider [it] a slap in the face to be carved out of that.”
In order to offer teachers with increases, Republican leaders said school districts may employ a little increase in total per-pupil education expenditure.