Annual report shows low educator salaries in Missouri

1 year 2 weeks 23 hours ago January 04, 2016 Jan 4, 2016 Monday, January 04 2016 Monday, January 04, 2016 2:59:00 PM CST in News
By: Taylor Reid, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA- An annual report ranks Missouri 42nd nationwide for average classroom teacher salary.

The Missouri Salary Schedule and Benefits Report from the Missouri State Teachers Association showed that Missouri teachers make around $8,896 less than other states. If applied to an educator’s average 30-year career, it translates to a $266,880 difference.

For the first time in a few years all Missouri school districts responded to the mailed salary questionnaires, resulting in 100% accuracy.

Aurora Meyer, MSTA spokesperson, said that the report is tweaked to every school district and provides information on each one.

Meyer said that the purpose of the report is to give everyone a very clear picture of what Missouri teacher and educator salaries in the state look like. The report is divided out by regions and school size.

“It’s just a lot of information that’s great for superintendents [and] teachers to make comparisons, and for students who are interested in pursuing education to think about what kind of financial impact that choice has,” Meyer said.

State law requires school districts to pay teachers with a Bachelor’s degree a minimum of $25,000 per year. Teachers with a Masters degree and 10 years of experience have a minimum salary of $33,000 per year.

“The increase in the average minimum salary for a teacher with a Bachelor’s degree this year was just 1.16 percent, which is only $378,” Meyer said. “That is the lowest increase Missouri teachers have seen in more than five years.”

Columbia Public Schools Communicaton’s Director Michelle Baumstark said that the salary schedule has pluses and minuses.

Baumstark said that Columbia Public Schools is looking to work on retaining teachers in their districts and recruiting as well.  

“We have to be competitive to keep the best and brightest here [in Columbia],” Baumstark said.

The primary sources of information for this report are the superintendents of Missouri’s public schools.

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