Nebraska and Iowa rank in top half for teacher pay, adjusted for cost of living

Nebraska and Iowa rank in top half for teacher pay, adjusted for cost of living
Teachers from Apollo Elementary in Oklahoma City were among those gathered outside the State Capitol as protests over school funding continued for a third day. A teacher walkout closed many schools in the state. (The Associated Press)

Comparing teacher pay helps explain why teachers have marched in protest in Oklahoma, Arizona and West Virginia.

All of those states in 2017 ranked in the bottom five in average pay for elementary school teachers, according to state figures compiled by The World-Herald.

Oklahoma pay ranked last, though it was 48th when adjusted for the state’s low cost of living. South Dakota also ranks low, 49th in both actual and adjusted dollars.

Nebraska and Iowa both ranked well, Nebraska’s $56,070 average salary climbing from 25th to 13th when adjusted for cost of living. Iowa ranked 29th and 21st.

Kentucky, another state where teachers walked out last week, ranked in the top half when adjusted for costs. Teachers in that state, though, are primarily protesting changes to state pensions.

Average salary for elementary school teachers in 2017

State Salary Rank Cost-adjusted rank
Michigan $62,720 13 1
Virginia $68,460 7 2
Ohio $59,950 18 3
Illinois $62,620 14 4
Pennsylvania $65,370 11 5
Minnesota $63,490 12 6
Texas $56,760 24 7
Wyoming $58,420 21 8
New York $80,540 1 9
New Mexico $59,060 20 10
Georgia $54,870 27 11
Connecticut $77,900 3 12
Nebraska $56,070 25 13
Massachusetts $76,590 5 14
Delaware $60,600 17 15
Wisconsin $56,940 23 16
Washington $62,580 15 17
Alaska $77,030 4 18
Missouri $52,700 32 19
Utah $54,750 28 20
Iowa $53,710 29 21
New Jersey $69,500 6 22
California $77,990 2 23
Kentucky $53,140 31 24
Tennessee $50,320 37 25
Indiana $50,310 38 26
Rhode Island $67,990 8 27
Kansas $50,200 39 28
Nevada $55,700 26 29
Arkansas $48,110 43 30
Alabama $49,040 40 31
Montana $52,610 33 32
Idaho $47,630 44 33
Maryland $67,340 9 34
Mississippi $44,230 47 35
Colorado $52,390 34 36
Oregon $65,640 10 37
Louisiana $48,310 42 38
North Dakota $51,090 35 39
Vermont $61,090 16 40
South Carolina $50,510 36 41
New Hampshire $57,470 22 42
North Carolina $45,690 45 43
Florida $48,340 41 44
West Virginia $45,530 46 45
Maine $53,190 30 46
Arizona $44,220 48 47
Oklahoma $40,530 50 48
South Dakota $41,570 49 49
Hawaii $59,790 19 50

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