The Poverty of Education When We Make Our Teachers Poor

Teacher shortages have been reported in all fifty states, and 86 percent of public schools are hard pressed to fill vacant teaching positions. Low pay is often cited as a cause of the shortages. Let’s put that in context.

On average, teacher pay in the United States is nearly 25 percent less than what other college graduates receive, according to a study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). If you are a teacher in New Hampshire, as I am, your paycheck is nearly 30 percent less than other college graduates. Let that sink in.

People who go into teaching are taking on the same level of debt as other college graduates (or more), yet they are receiving nowhere near the same financial benefits. The typical U.S. graduate with a four year degree walked away with their diploma and $29,417 in debt in 2022. In my home state, the average debt for a bachelor’s degree topped the nation at an astounding $39,928.

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