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Texas Early Educators Fall Short in Pay Comparison, Study Says

Texas has one of the largest cohorts of both early-childhood education teachers and day care providers in the nation due to its population size, yet those workers are paid far less than their peers working in other states, a new study states.

The median pay for those who care for the very young in the Lone Star State is $9.16 an hour—$1.09 less than their colleagues elsewhere,states the Texas Early Childhood Workforce Compensation Study, done by the University of Texas at Austin's Child and Family Research Institute and the Ray Marshall Center.

This means that a day care worker in Dallas might earn $19,050 annually in comparison with someone in another state who might earn $21,320, the research shows.

Moreover, the median annual pay in Texas is only $520 above the federal poverty line--$18,530 for a family of three.

Such low pay likely contributes to the high national turnover rate in the field—30 to 40 percent, the study states. In contrast, the national turnover for elementary teachers is 7 percent.

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