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Minimum Wage Effects in Low-Wage Areas
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The teacher weekly wage penalty hit 21.4 percent in 2018, a record high
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The Employment Effects of a $15 Minimum Wage in the U.S. and in Mississippi: A Simulation Approach
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Economic Policy Institute, April 2019.
- Teachers, students, parents, and community supporters protested cutbacks in public education spending and a squeeze on teacher pay that have persisted well into the economic recovery from the Great Recession. Spending reductions affect resources available to schools, which influence numerous decisions such as whether the school has adequate support personnel, reasonable class sizes, and competitive compensation for both teachers and nonteacher staff. Spending cuts over the recovery were not the result of weak state economies. Rather, many state legislatures and governors cut spending in order to finance tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. This report underscores the crisis in teacher pay by updating our data series on the teacher wage and compensation penalty—the percent by which public school teachers are paid less in wages and compensation than other college-educated workers—and by providing new regression-based estimates of the teacher weekly wage penalty in each state.