07/03/2020

Fewer Californians than residents nationwide favor raising teacher pay

The plight of teachers in the half-dozen states who went out on strike over wages last spring resonated across the nation. A near-majority of people now favor raising teachers’ pay — a significant increase over a year ago — according to a poll by the education journal Education Next. An exception, though, is California — at least when those surveyed were told how much teachers in the state currently earn.

Education Next’s 12th annual survey of 4,601 adults, released Tuesday, also showed an uptick in support for charter schools, after a large drop a year ago, and for increased school spending — both nationwide and in California.

. . . Teachers in California earn, on average, the third-highest salaries in the nation, behind only Massachusetts and New York. Told that the average pay in their state was $72,842, only 41 percent of California respondents would raise teacher salaries — 9 percentage points below the national average. An additional 47 percent would leave salaries where they are and 12 percent would lower them. That’s still a sizable increase from 2017, when only 27 percent of Californians polled said pay should be higher.

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