This morning, the National Education Association released its annual Rankings and Estimates report, which provides the most current national comparisons of average teacher salaries. I'm pleased to share that, as predicted, Oklahoma moved up in the rankings.
NEA bases its report on gross salary for classroom teachers before deductions for Social Security, retirement and health insurance. The information is provided by state education departments.
- Oklahoma's average teacher salary for 2018-2019 is estimated at $52,412, up from $46,300 for 2017-2018.
- Oklahoma's average teacher salary is now third in our region behind Texas and Colorado.
- Oklahoma's ranking for average teacher salary moved up to 34th from 2018-2019, up from 49th for 2017-2018.
- Oklahoma's 13.2 percent jump in average teacher pay was topped only by one other state. Washington reported a 31 percent increase in average teacher pay.
The report tells an important story about the state’s investment in public education: There’s more work to do, but we’re traveling on the right path.
Moving up in the regional and national rankings is significant progress and a sign that with continued investment, Oklahoma can begin to reverse a severe teacher shortage crisis and focus on the need to hire more teachers, reduce class sizes, restore programs that contribute to academic success and increase mental health supports for students.
As legislative leaders and the governor continue working toward a budget agreement for next school year, there's no doubt that striving to be a top 10 education state means Oklahoma must match the big dreams we have for our children with investment and resources. It's important that education advocates continue to champion a long-term funding plan for schools so we can ensure every child receives a high-quality education.
Please continue to talk to your legislators about your local needs and how your district might spend additional money in the funding formula.
Thank you for your continued service and advocacy. Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional information. You can reach me via email or on my cell at 580.747.0179.
Shawn Hime, Ph.D.