Recently, I wrote about the correlation between poverty, investment in schools, and student achievement test scores.
To summarize, wealthier districts with lower levels of poverty tended to both invest more in their schools AND get higher scores on achievement tests.
On the flip side, school districts with higher levels of poverty had less money to invest in schools and also saw lower student achievement scores.
Now, I’ve broken down the top and bottom 10 districts from those posts and I’m highlighting their average teacher salaries. Here’s the data:
District 2014 Average Teacher Salary
Franklin Special $52,080
Oak Ridge $54,039
Johnson City $52,222
Shelby County $56,180
Average for Top 10 Districts: $49,974
District 2014 Average Salary
Lake Co. $42,547
Union Co. $42,027
Madison Co. $45,282
Campbell Co. $41,563
Haywood Co. $43,318
Hardeman Co. $43,556
Hancock Co. $39,777
Memphis $56,000 (Shelby Co. number, as Memphis is now part of SCS)
Fayette Co. $41,565
Average for Bottom 10: $43,770
The salary disparity among the top 10 and bottom 10 districts in terms of academic performance is $6204 — or 14.2%.
These numbers roughly correlate with the districts most able to pay and with the greatest investment over the BEP.
It’s important to note that high pay alone does not represent high student achievement. It is also important to note, though, that those districts with the most consistent high performance on student achievement indicators also consistently pay more than districts that are lower-performing.
Wealthier districts invest more funds in their schools, invest more in their teachers, and see better overall outcomes than low-income districts. Teacher pay is a part of that overall equation.
MORE on Teacher Pay:
A 4% Raise for Tennessee Teachers?
Pay Teachers More … A Lot More
Why is TN 40th in Teacher Pay?
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