The National Education Association has released its annual statistics on teacher salaries, and, as usual, the nation's largest teachers' union paints a grim picture.
According to the report, inflation continued to outpace teacher salaries last year, and over the decade from 1997–98 to 2007–08, average salaries for public school teachers declined 1 percent while inflation increased 31.4 percent.
Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia saw real declines in average teacher salaries over those years, adjusting for inflation.
The report says the average one-year increase in salaries for public school teachers was 3.1 percent, while inflation over that period increased 4.3 percent.
According to the report, the national average salary for a public school teacher in the 2007–2008 school year was $52,308. The higiest average salary was in California, $64,424, while the lowest was in South Dakota, which paid teachers $36,674 on average.
The report also has interesting statistics on gender diversity in teaching. Men, it says, make up just 24.5 percent of the teacher workforce, and the highest percentage of male teachers could be found in Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, and Oregon. States with the fewest male teachers were Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Virginia.
You can find the full report on the NEA Web site here.