U.S. teachers are significantly underpaid compared to teachers in other industrialized countries, according to a new analysis published by the Brookings Institution. According to author University of California, Santa Barbara, Economics Professor Dick Startz: “If we wanted to raise the relative salaries of American teachers to the level seen in Finland, we’d require a 10 percent raise for primary school teachers, an 18 percent raise in lower secondary, and a 28 percent raise for upper secondary school teachers.”
Startz says he chose Finland for comparison purposes because “lots of countries aspire to be Finland when it comes to education,” and it is “pretty much an average payer” when it comes to teacher salaries. Citing figures from 25 countries, he concludes:
“The quick lesson is that in most industrialized countries relative teacher pay is higher than in the United States. While American salaries aren’t the lowest, many other countries not only pay better, but the gap is really, really big.”
Read the analysis on Brookings.com:
Just how underpaid are American teachers? Dick Startz shows that teacher salaries are not only low compared to other similarly educated American workers, but also much lower relatively than those of teachers in other industrialized nations. Increasing teacher salaries would not solve all issues in education, but it would go a long way in making teaching a more attractive career.
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American teachers are underpaid. More specifically, American teachers are underpaid when compared to teachers in the nations we compete with.