Jefferson City schools dispute report on worst teacher salaries

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JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public Schools is disputing data from a recent list saying Jefferson City was one of the worst-paying cities for high school teachers.

The list, "The 25 Worst-Paying Cities for High School Teachers," said Jefferson City was the second worst city for paying high school teachers. The list came from Graphiq, a data aggregation service, according to its website.

Graphiq's StartClass report lists Jefferson City's average high school teacher salary as $38,930.

Jason Hoffman, JCPS chief financial officer, said JCPS employees saw the list after it was referenced in an article by WDAF in Kansas City, which prompted him to investigate. He said the report was just wrong.

"The numbers that they were using were so low that it wasn't even accurate," Hoffman said. 

Data from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said the city's average Jefferson City High School teacher salary for the regular term was $47,630 in 2014 and $47,899 in 2015.

Hoffman said the department was the first place he checked after he saw the Graphiq report.

"I just looked from 2010 to 2015 for Jefferson City High School, and it's very clear that our average pay at Jefferson City High School has been at or above $50,000 a year every year," Hoffman said.

For 2013-2014, data from the Missouri State Teachers Association lists $35,500 and $60,286 as the minimum and maximum salaries for all teachers with only a bachelor's degree. For a master's degree, it said those numbers were $39,770 and $64,556.

KOMU 8 News reached out to employees at Graphiq, who said the report salary data came from 2014 data from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Will Laws, an associate editor at Graphiq, said while the company plans to fact-check this information now that it is being disputed, he stands by the list and the data.