Why Louisiana teacher pay starts better than average, before plummeting; see state rank

BY WILL SENTELL | STAFF WRITER

When it comes to pay, public school teachers in Louisiana are better than average at the start and then plummet in the rankings for the rest of their careers.

The average starting pre-tax salary – $40,400 per year – is better than both the Southern and U.S. averages – $38,420 and $40,154 respectively.

But after that teachers here get less on average than their peers across 15 other states in the South, according to a teacher compensation dashboard unveiled last week by the Southern Regional Education Board in Atlanta.

After 15 years, salaries go up but take-home pay, after taxes, retirement and health insurance, averages $32,110 compared to the regional average of $34,613. After 35 years – essentially the career for most teachers – they take home an average of $36,592 per year compared to $44,105 across the region.

Both put Louisiana 11th of 16 states.

“One thing the data shows us is some states are taking a frontloading approach and trying to raise the salary at the starting end,” said Megan Boren, a policy researcher who leads SREB’s work on teacher and workforce issues.

“Some states are kind of taking the opposite approach and adjust their salary schedules so they kind of focus on retaining teachers,” Boren said. “Louisiana is more of a frontloading state.”

The issue has been a sore point for teacher leaders for years.

“After the first year your money doesn’t … ” Continue Reading Full Story >>>

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