Average teacher salary surpasses $40,000

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For the first time, the average Texas public school teacher makes more than $40,000 a year, according to an annual survey released last week. But teacher salaries are growing at the slowest pace in at least a decade.

The study – jointly conducted by the Texas Association of School Boards and the Texas Association of School Administrators – reports that the average teacher’s salary increased about 1.5 percent, from last year’s $39,972 to $40,571.

But that increase is the lowest in the 13 years that the groups have been tracking salaries.

“There’s just not a lot of new money to go around this year,” said Mary Elizabeth Regan, who coordinated the report for the school board association.

Ms. Regan said that an average returning teacher actually saw a raise of about 2.7 percent. The 1.5 percent figure is artificially lowered because schools typically replace high-cost retiring teachers with low-cost rookies, keeping overall salary figures down.

North Texas teachers fared slightly better than their colleagues. Teachers in the Dallas area averaged $42,130, while Fort Worth-area teachers averaged $41,476. Average starting salaries for area teachers were $2,000 to $3,000 above the state average.

Joshua Benton