Teacher Salaries: Bad, But Not Worst

Food for thought as the summer speeds by and our public school teachers relax before preparing to head back into the classrooms: Tennessee teachers are fairly poorly paid. We say "fairly" because while the average estimated salary of public school teachers in our state for 2008-2009 (the latest figures available) ranked us 39 among the states, we are in the upper 80 percentile in teacher pay! Here are the ranks for Tennessee and a few other sample states (it adds up to 51 due to the inclusion of Washington, D.C.)

1. California, average salary $66,986

5. Illinois, average salary $62,787

17. Georgia, average salary $53,270

30. North Carolina, average salary $48,603

39. Tennessee, average salary $46,278

51. South Dakota, average salary $38,017

Source: National Education Association Estimates Database 2009 via The Taxpayers Network