CONCORD, NH – APRIL 26, 2022: Today, NEA shared the findings from multiple reports that look at educator salaries, earnings, and school finances.
These latest reports come at a time when a staggering 55 percent of educators are thinking about leaving the profession earlier than they had planned.
“Unfortunately, all our studies show that rather than closing persistent pay gaps, we are moving in the wrong direction,” said Megan Tuttle, NEA-NH President, “and it’s hitting our ESP’s the hardest.”
The Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) most recent analysis of teacher pay finds a 19.2% wage penalty for teachers when compared to other college educated workers with similar characteristics. Closing this gap would require an increase of approximately $19,000 in the average teacher salary in New Hampshire.
The data found that in not a single state do ESPs, on average, earn enough in a year to support a family of one adult and one child in the state’s most-affordable metropolitan area. In New Hampshire, the gap between the average ESP salary and this measure of a living wage is more than $25,000 a year. Only three other states (Vermont, Hawaii, and Oregon) and the District of Columbia joined NH on this dubious list.
“Though multiple factors are rapidly pushing what has been a decade-long educator shortage problem toward a national crisis, insufficient pay is certainly one of the primary reasons that fewer people are entering education, and more are leaving,” Tuttle said.
A major part of the problem in New Hampshire comes from how we fund our public schools. Local revenue in our state accounted for close to 62% of the total funds needed for our schools – that’s ranks us second in the country. State revenue accounted for just 31% of the funding needed for our schools, earning us the 49th spot on the list.
Salaries are not keeping up with inflation, which could push even more educators out of the profession.
“If we’re serious about fixing this problem and keeping qualified teachers in the classroom and caring professionals in our schools—then we need to stop attacking them and increase their pay across the board.”