Colorado Ranks Last in America for Teacher Salaries
Colorado teachers have the worst salaries, according to a new report from Business.org.
The study revealed that, including the District of Columbia, our home state ranked last out of all the U.S. states for average teacher salaries in 2019.
Overall, Colorado teachers are paid 40% less than the average salary Coloradans in other jobs are making, earning around $56,000 a year. Entry-level teachers are being paid almost 30% less, with an average income of $33,000 a year.
Louisiana came in first, with their teachers only being paid around 6% less than other workers in the state. Wyoming comes in second with a 7% difference, and South Dakota follows in third with about 9%.
In fact, the study reports that if a teacher moved from Denver, Colorado to New Orleans, Louisiana, their standard of living would improve by about 50%.
The rankings were determined by gathering the average starting teacher salary from the National Education Association (NEA). These wages were then measured against the average salaries for all the occupations in each state.
Tenured teaching positions were omitted from research, as well as college professors, leaving the study to primarily focus on newer K-12 teachers.
The official ranking was based on how well each state paid its new teachers compared to how it compensated the rest of the workforce.
On the bright side, a difference in teacher pay does not seem to impact student performance. For example, Connecticut ranks #32 in terms of teacher compensation, but is one of the top 5 states regarding student test scores.
Colorado may be ranked as the 10th best state in the U.S., but we might want to look into our teacher compensation.