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KUNC is among the founding partners of the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration of public media stations that serve the Western states of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Teacher Pay Gap Reaches New Highs

This chart compares wages of teachers against their college-educated counterparts.
Economic Policy Institute
This chart compares wages of teachers against their college-educated counterparts.

Public school teachers are seeing historically low wages compared to workers with similar education and skills. Noah Glick found our region varies wildly according to a new report.

Last year, the weekly wages for teachers was more than 21 percent lower than those of comparable workers. That’s according to the recent analysis from the Economic Policy Institute.

Sylvia Allegretto is an economist with UC Berkley. She co-authored the study. She says teacher benefits help offset the lower wages but the pay gap is still large and getting worse.

“In the early 90s, the total compensation gap teachers experienced was about 3 percent. And it’s grown to 13 percent in 2018,” she says.

According to the report, teacher wages are lower than comparable workers in every state and the District of Columbia.

Teachers have been holding large-scale strikes across the country in recent months, including in Denver. Now, teachers in Las Vegas, are threatening to strike if Nevada makes additional cuts to its education funding. That school district is the fifth largest in the nation.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Copyright 2020 KUNR Public Radio. To see more, visit .

Noah Glick is from the small town of Auburn, Indiana and comes to KUNR from the Bay Area, where he spent his post-college years learning to ride his bike up huge hills. He’s always had a love for radio, but his true passion for public radio began when he discovered KQED in San Francisco. Along with a drive to discover the truth and a degree in Journalism from Ball State University, he hopes to bring a fresh perspective to local news coverage.
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