As part of our ongoing reporting on all aspects of education in Ohio, StateImpact took a look at how average teacher salaries have changed over the past five years.
Looking at all Ohio public-school teachers, the average salary increased about 12 percent, reaching $56,715 for the 2010-11 school year.
Districts with the largest increases in average salary include:
- Urbana City, an urban, high-poverty district northeast of Dayton (up 42 percent to $62,482),
- Bellbrook-Sugarcreek, a self-described “upscale, residential suburb” southeast of Dayton (up 42 percent to $66,075), and
- Cardington-Lincoln, a small rural district north of Columbus (up 32 percent to $53,166).
Fewer than 20 districts saw decreases in their average teacher salary. They included:
- Ridgedale, a small rural district north of Columbus (down 24 percent to $36,965),
- Minster, a small-town district southwest of Lima (down 14 percent to $55,875), and
- Elgin, a small rural district north of Columbus, (down 14 percent to $50,779).
The overall change in Ohio’s average teacher salary is actually similar to the national trend, both for public-school teachers and for private sector workers. Nationally, public-school teachers saw a 14 percent increase in salaries over roughly the same period, compared to a 13 percent increase for all private-sector workers, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Inflation — the prices we pay for consumer goods — rose 11 percent during that time, according to the BLS.
Does this mean that every teacher in Ohio is making 12 percent more now than he or she was making five years ago? Far from it.
A big increase — or a big decrease — in average salary doesn’t necessarily mean that a district’s teachers got big raises or pay cuts. Some of the changes may be related to the mix of teachers employed by a district: In Ohio, experienced teachers are paid more than less experienced ones, so shifts in a district’s teacher workforce can lead to changes in its average salaries. Teachers can also make more by earning advanced degrees.
These salary figures don’t take inflation into account. However, national data that does account for inflation shows that public-school workers’ salaries increased about 2 percent from December 2005 to December 2010, compared to an approximately 1 percent increase for all private-sector workers over the same period.
And salary is just one part of the picture. Other forms of compensation like health insurance, pension contributions and sick leave are also part of what teachers take home.
So consider this map a starting point for exploring information on education in Ohio. Stay tuned for more analysis of the reasons some districts are up, some are down, how other education professions compare–and what that means for educators, families and taxpayers.