Education and Skills

US school teachers are among the worst-paid in the developed world

Teachers rally outside the state Capitol on the second day of a teacher walkout to demand higher pay and more funding for education in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S., April 3, 2018

US teachers have gone on strike to draw attention to education funding. Image: REUTERS/Nick Oxford

Heather Timmons
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Education and Skills?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Social Protection is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Social Protection

Teachers’ strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky are drawing attention to the dire state of public education funding in those US states. But failing to value educators is a nationwide problem—US teachers overall make some of the lowest relative salaries of educators in any developed country.

In fact, US high school teachers’ salaries rank just ahead of the Czech Republic, when compared to peers with similar education levels, according to the OECD:

Here’s how it breaks down by state—teachers in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Mississippi and South Dakota teachers are the worst-paid in the country. Teachers in Kentucky are in the bottom 50%:

After going on strike last month, West Virginia’s teachers won a 5% raise for themselves and other state employees.

Last week, Oklahoma’s governor signed a bill that would give teachers a $6,100 pay raise.

But the Oklahoma teachers union says that doesn’t begin to address the larger systemic problem of state tax cuts that drain funding from public education. “This package doesn’t overcome shortfalls caused by four-day weeks, overcrowded classrooms that deprive kids of the one-on-one attention they need,” the union says.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Education and SkillsEquity, Diversity and Inclusion
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

How to harness generative AI and other emerging technologies to close the opportunity gap

Jeff Maggioncalda

June 21, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum