Are Teachers Underpaid?

Are Teachers Underpaid?


Montana has among the lowest starting wages for teachers, though average teacher’s wages are considerably better, 28th among the fifty states[1]. Teacher pay is perceived as low.


“The bottom line,” says the Center for American Progress, “is that mid- and late-career teachers are not earning what they deserve, nor are they able to gain the salaries that support a middle-class existence[2].”


Legislatures are constantly badgered to increase education funding, meaning mostly[3] pay for teachers. The upcoming legislative session can expect such badgering.


How bad do teachers have it? The average teacher in Bozeman made $60,961 last school year. Their contract is for 185 days, of which nine are PIR days. They required substitutes another 21 days, leaving them 155 days in the classroom. This means they are paid $393.29[4] per classroom day. Plus benefits.


The average Montana daily wage in 2013 was $146.00[5].


Calls for increasing education funding should be considered in light of this wage comparison.

Carpenter                          Seligman 1866

Average worker                               Teacher


Heights of these photos shows the ratio of the pay of the average Montana worker to the pay of a Bozeman teacher, 1:2.67


Photos: Wikimedia









[3] Generally speaking, a school district spends between 80 and 85 percent of its entire

budget on salaries and benefits, meaning only 15 to 20 percent remains to address all of the rest of the budget’s priorities and needs.




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