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Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

In recent months, teachers in multiple states, including West Virginia, Kentucky, Arizona, and Colorado, have gone on strike to protest low wages and insufficie...
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In recent months, teachers in multiple states, including West Virginia, Kentucky, Arizona, and Colorado, have gone on strike to protest low wages and insufficient resources in public schools. With many states cutting school funding, teachers are experiencing economic pressure inside and outside of the classroom and are voicing their need for change.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average annual salary of teachers in U.S. public elementary and secondary schools is $58,950. Although teachers’ salaries have risen nominally over the past 50 years, when analyzed in “constant dollars” based on the consumer price index, salaries have actually been decreasing since 2009. For comparison, the average annual earnings for workers over the age of 18 who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in the U.S. is $77,526, resulting in a national teacher pay gap of -24%.

With this in mind, Credit Sesame wanted to see how the pay gap varied from state to state. Its researchers calculated the Teacher pay gap as the percent difference between the Average annual salary for teachers in each state (taken from the National Education Association, Estimates of School Statistics, 2016-17) and the Average annual earnings for all college graduates (calculated for each state using the U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 American Community Survey 1-year Public Use Microdata Samples). Then each state and the District of Columbia was ranked from the highest teacher pay gap to the lowest.

Based on the analysis, the teacher pay gap is in the teachers’ favor in only two states: Vermont and Alaska. The states with the highest teacher salaries are in the populous, heavily urban states of New York, California, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, and Connecticut, while the states with the lowest teacher salaries are in the mostly rural states of Colorado, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and South Dakota. States with lowest teacher salaries also tended to have higher teacher pay gaps.

Here are the states with the largest teacher pay gap:

Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

25. Idaho

  • Teacher pay gap: -23.5%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $47,504
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $62,060
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -6.8%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

24. New Mexico

  • Teacher pay gap: -24.1%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $47,500
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $62,615
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: 1.8%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

23. Kentucky

  • Teacher pay gap: -25.1%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $52,339
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $69,885
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: 0.4%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

22. West Virginia

  • Teacher pay gap: -25.1%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $45,701
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $61,008
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -8.9%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

21. New Jersey

  • Teacher pay gap: -25.3%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $69,623
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $93,161
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -6.6%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

20. Connecticut

  • Teacher pay gap: -25.9%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $72,561
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $97,986
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -2.2%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

19. Arkansas

  • Teacher pay gap: -25.9%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $48,616
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $65,575
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: 1.6%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

18. Louisiana

  • Teacher pay gap: -26.2%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $50,000
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $67,767
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: 5.4%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

17. Kansas

  • Teacher pay gap: -26.4%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $47,984
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $65,198
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -4.3%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

16. South Carolina

  • Teacher pay gap: -26.8%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $48,598
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $66,430
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -6.0%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

15. Missouri

  • Teacher pay gap: -27.6%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $48,293
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $66,714
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -5.5%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

14. Georgia

  • Teacher pay gap: -27.7%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $54,602
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $75,515
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -7.1%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

13. Alabama

  • Teacher pay gap: -28.4%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $48,868
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $68,241
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -7.1%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

12. Mississippi

  • Teacher pay gap: -28.4%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $42,925
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $59,918
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -6.0%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

11. South Dakota

  • Teacher pay gap: -28.4%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $42,668
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $59,577
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: 2.4%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

10. North Carolina

  • Teacher pay gap: -29.9%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $49,837
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $71,098
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -11.8%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

9. Tennessee

  • Teacher pay gap: -30.4%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $48,456
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $69,636
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -6.9%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

8. Utah

  • Teacher pay gap: -31.1%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $47,244
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $68,547
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -5.7%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

7. Oklahoma

  • Teacher pay gap: -31.1%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $45,245
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $65,660
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: 0.9%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

6. Washington

  • Teacher pay gap: -31.8%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $54,147
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $79,418
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -8.0%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

5. Florida

  • Teacher pay gap: -32.1%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $49,407
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $72,804
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -6.1%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

4. Texas

  • Teacher pay gap: -34.5%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $52,575
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $80,261
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -2.4%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

3. Arizona

  • Teacher pay gap: -34.7%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $47,403
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $72,636
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -10.4%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

2. Colorado

  • Teacher pay gap: -37.1%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $46,506
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $73,992
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -15.0%
Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap

1. Virginia

  • Teacher pay gap: -40.2%
  • Average annual salary for teachers: $51,049
  • Average annual earnings for all college graduates: $85,432
  • Teacher salary change 1999-00 to 2016-17: -8.1%

Methodology & full results

Teacher salary and salary change statistics are from the National Education Association, Estimates of School Statistics, 2016-17. Both are in constant 2016-2017 dollars. Average annual earnings for all college graduates was computed for each state using the U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 American Community Survey 1-year Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS). Only adults over age 18 with a bachelor’s degree or higher were included in the analysis. The Teacher pay gap was calculated as the percent difference between the Average annual salary for teachers and the Average annual earnings for all college graduates.

Connecticut among the top 25 states with largest teacher pay gap