« Mississippi Eyes National Board-Certified Talent for High-Needs Districts | Main | Secretary King Talks Teacher Diversity With Boston Educators of Color »

Alabama Teachers to Receive First Pay Raises Since the Recession

After spending the better part of a decade without seeing an increase in their take-home pay, Alabama teachers are set to receive their first real pay increases since 2008. (A 2013 raise was offset by benefit cuts.)

Under a newly approved education budget, teachers and other K-12 staff with annual salaries less than $75,000 will get 4 percent raises; others will see 2 percent increases. Montgomery lawmakers, concerned that the state was losing good teachers to better-paying states like neighboring Georgia, overwhelmingly passed the increases out of both chambers of the legislature.

"If you are going to attract quality people to education, it is imperative that you compensate them accordingly," said Arthur Orr, a Republican who is chair of the Senate Finance & Taxation Education Committee. "The legislature understands this and that it's been nine years since educators have seen a true raise. I'm pleased the support was overwhelming."

As my colleague Daarel Burnette II reported recently, lawmakers in several states facing looming teacher shortages have proposed pay increases to stave off a potential crisis. 

In 2014, the average Alabama teacher made just about $49,000, landing them the 35th spot on state rankings of teacher pay. Currently, Alabama teachers' salaries are capped far below the $75,000 threshold, so every teacher in the state is set to receive a 4 percent raise. The state's current salary schedule climbs slowly from a minimum of $36,867 for starting teachers to a maximum salary of just over $62,000 for teachers with at least 27 years of teaching experience and a doctorate. Teachers with a bachelor's degree and 10 years in the classroom make just about $42,000.

Under the new legislation, all principals and assistant principals will also receive 4 percent raises regardless of their current salary. Employees of community and technical colleges will also get 4 percent raises. All told the salary increases will cost the state $150 million annually. 

South Dakota, another state that has traditionally ranked low on average teacher pay, also recently approved legislation to boost educator salaries


Don't miss another Teacher Beat post. Sign up here to get news alerts in your email inbox.


You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments

  • lauren: cell phones are what kids crave on they need a read more
  • enjoyjd: One of the most frustrating things for me, when my read more
  • marty: I was once a superb teacher. Students loved me, parents read more
  • J. S. Gephardt: I totally agree that teachers should be evaluated on a read more
  • Lisa: Senority... most parents want their children in a seasoned teachers read more