Arizona has the lowest wages for teachers in the nation, report finds

Feb 18, 2021, 4:55 AM

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)...

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Teacher pay in Arizona can’t seem to catch up to the rest of the country, according to a new report.

It ranks the state 50th for median annual teacher pay, which is about $47,606 when adjusted for cost of living. Rhode Island ranks first, with nearly $76,877 in median pay for teachers.

Among metropolitan areas, Phoenix ranked No. 48 and Tucson ranked No. 50.

“We’re not surprised by it,” Joe Thomas, president of the Arizona Education Association, said. “You can move to any of the surrounding states and still get an increase in salary.”

He added that any educator in Arizona “will tell you that they are underpaid.”

The report was done by HireAHelper, a California-based company that connects people with local movers across the country. Rankings were based on wage and employment data by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2019.

A spokesman for Gov. Doug Ducey’s office pointed out the report doesn’t take into account the full 20% teacher pay raises that were part of the governor’s “20X2020 plan.”

He added funding for education and teacher salaries is “a top priority” for the governor.

Ducey’s budget proposal for the upcoming year focuses heavily on education. It also includes $200 million in cuts to the state income tax that would rise to $600 million in the third year, which Thomas said he’s worried about.

“What Arizona has done over decades is they have cut taxes,” he said. “That has had a significant impact on our education funding, and a significant part of education funding is paying the people that work there.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

File photo of a Phoenix police cruiser at a crime scene....

1 man killed, 2 others critically injured in west Phoenix shooting

Police are investigating a shooting incident that left one person dead and two others in critical condition in west Phoenix on Wednesday.

2 hours ago

(KTAR News Photo)...

KTAR News anchor Jayme West reads to 3rd graders as part of ‘Read to the Final Four’

KTAR News anchor Jayme West read to third graders at Glenn F. Burton Elementary School as part of a Final Four challenge.

3 hours ago

road closed sign...

US 93 reopened after crash closed highway in both directions near Wickenburg

U.S. 93 was closed in both directions near Wickenburg on Wednesday night, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

4 hours ago

Randall Bird, 46, is accused of having sex with a corpse at a Phoenix hospital. (MCSO Mugshot)...

Hospital security guard in Phoenix accused of sexual misconduct with dead body

A hospital security guard in Phoenix was arrested Tuesday after being accused of sexual misconduct with a dead body, authorities said.

6 hours ago

Antonio Alvarez is the subject of a Silver Alert issued out of Phoenix on Nov. 28, 2023....

Subject of Silver Alert found dead in Avondale a week after last being seen

A subject of a Silver Alert was found dead in Avondale on Tuesday, a week after he had last been seen in the Valley.

7 hours ago

Tempe has begun testing its wastewater for common viruses, such as influenza. (Pexels Photo)...

Tempe starts testing wastewater for common viruses, including influenza

Tempe has begun testing its wastewater for common viruses, such as influenza, and vector-borne diseases.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(KTAR News Graphic)...

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]

Follow @KTAR923...

West Hunsaker at Morris Hall supports Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona

KTAR's Community Spotlight this month focuses on Morris Hall and its commitment to supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona.

Arizona has the lowest wages for teachers in the nation, report finds