How Teacher Salaries Influence Graduation Outcomes
Teachers are arguably one of the most important roles in a child’s life, shouldn’t their salary reflect that? With an ongoing debate about the need to increase teachers’ salaries- data shows there’s a very high correlation between teacher salaries and graduation rates.
Analysis performed by Learner with data from the last 10 years shows positive correlation between teacher salaries and graduation rates across the US..
|Year||Graduation Rate*||Average Salary|
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
As shown in the chart above, there is an 8 percent difference in the graduation rate between the highest to lowest teacher salaries. With a little over an $8,000 dollar pay difference between the two spots- it can average that each $1,000 dollars equals a percentage point. This theory also found that higher teacher salaries correlate with an increase of graduation rates for 46 out of the 50 states.
Teacher Salaries / Teacher Shortage
While education is very important in the US, there has been a significant teacher shortage occurring. The U.S. is facing a significant teacher shortage crisis, with an average of three unfilled teaching positions per school, leaving over 200,000 classrooms without qualified educators. This shortage has been accelerating since the pandemic and is present now due to economic challenges. It has even led to 55% of educators contemplating an earlier exit from the profession.
Main Take Away
Children in the US attend school from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Besides some school exceptions in various states, this duration leads to at least 10 years of their life. With an average of six to seven hours a day, children spend the majority of their most developmental time at school. With teachers having such importance in children’s lives and upbringings, the need for teachers to feel confident in their position is critical. This crisis highlights the need for systemic solutions to address teacher retention and recruitment, ensuring a high-quality education for students.
If giving more money to teachers can ensure more children graduating– why is this debate still present?