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What state offers the best benefits for teachers?

Here in NC the teachers are not payed well and are quickly loosing other benefits. NC is currently listed as one of the lowest states for teacher pay and I was wondering if the contenders at the top of the list are true or not. I must complete two years of teaching in NC before I can move but I was wondering what a good place to move would be. teaching k-12-education salary-review financial-planning

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Tiffany’s Answer

Hi Jessica! I realize this question was posted almost a year ago, but I hope the answer will still be helpful to you. I currently teach in Memphis, TN where the starting salary for a public school teacher is roughly 42,000. Typically, higher-paying jobs are found in places with greater need. Teacher turnover is relatively high at urban schools, so compensation is one way urban districts can attract quality educators. Because public school teachers are government employees, their salaries are available for the public to view. A quick Google search of "teacher salaries lookup" led me to a few reliable sources such as this one: http://www.tos.ohio.gov/Transparency_Teacher.aspx. Keep in mind, however, that each district will have its own pay scale. You may find that some teachers make 75,000/year, but they may have been teaching for 20 years, earned a Masters or Doctorate, or received several raises/bonuses throughout their tenure with the district. I think the best question to ask regarding compensation in an interview is whether or not teachers receive an annual raise, and if so, how they earn it. The next best question to ask is whether or not a teacher's salary is commensurate with her level of education. This will help you determine if you can work your way into the income bracket you hope to enter.

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Lynn’s Answer

Not all teacher salaries are determined in the same way. Some are statewide compensation schedules, others are strictly local agreements, and private schools are another salary structure. There're also variations in how retirement contributions and benefits are handled, which affect salary figures, so it might be helpful to go directly to the state/school district you are interested in working for to see what they offer. Keep in mind that many teachers take on "extra duty" jobs at school to increase their take home pay. These positions can be anything from sports coaching to debate teams to club or class sponsors to directing the National Geographic Bee program. A general rule is that the more experience and education you have, the higher your teaching pay. Teachers are usually paid across a range, or "steps", that reward time on the job and advanced degrees. Because public schools are taxpayer-funded, transparency in compensation is required. The National Education Association, (one of two large teacher's unions), has information on teacher salaries at their website, www.nea.org, as well as a number of other resources, that may give you some help, also. Also note that "average teacher salary" for a state/area can be deceiving, depending on the demographics of the teachers in that area. Up until a few years ago, (when many veteran teachers were at the top of the pay scale due to long service and advanced degrees), my state of Michigan had a very high average teacher compensation. Then, we experienced a pretty huge retirement bulge, which meant more new, thus lesser paid, teachers replaced them, lowering the overall salary picture. It's also best to look at more than just a paycheck when deciding where to locate, too. Good luck!
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