Fact-check: How have teacher pay raises stacked up in the past 25 years?

Our weekly check-in with the Texas Truth-O-Meter.

By Louis Jacobson, PolitiFactAugust 31, 2022 10:45 am, ,

From PolitiFact:

As students and teachers were heading back to the classroom, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to discuss the state of education in the U.S.

Cardona expressed regret that teacher pay across the country has not increased significantly over the past quarter century.

“Well, if you’ve heard my interviews, you’ve heard me say this teacher shortage issue is a symptom of what I call a teacher respect issue,” Cardona told host Chuck Todd on Aug. 21. “We need to respect the profession better. College graduates earn 33% more than your average teacher when they leave. And adjusted for inflation, over the last 25 years teachers have made a $29 increase in their salary. That’s unacceptable, the fact that we’ve normalized teachers driving Uber on the weekends to make ends meet or working at a restaurant, waiting tables to make ends meet. We have to lift the profession.”

We took a closer look at his statement that “adjusted for inflation, over the last 25 years teachers have made a $29 increase in their salary.”

We found that Cardona left out an important frame of reference: the change in teachers’ weekly salary rates, not their annual salaries. Still, his underlying point, that teacher pay gains have lagged that of other American workers, is solid. …

Read the full story at PolitiFact, and listen to an interview with PolitiFact Texas’ Nusaiba Mizan in the audio player above.

Radio interview produced by Sean Saldana

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