Teacher pay in Alabama is going up this fall — 2% across the board, and more for middle or high school math or science educators.
Gov. Kay Ivey first proposed the main raise in her state of the state address, and lawmakers made it final last week. The increase comes as teachers finish what many called the most challenging school year ever.
“If this pandemic has taught us anything, it reinforced what we already knew – teachers are vital to our student’s learning, and our state employees keep government services operational for the people of Alabama,” Ivey said in a news release Tuesday.
The last teacher raise was 4%, in 2019, which pushed the starting salary for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree over $40,000. With the new 2% pay raise, starting pay rises to $41,690 for a new teacher with a bachelor’s degree for the 2021-22 school year. The image below shows current and new pay amounts for teachers holding bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Teachers with additional credentials, specifically those who have obtained National Board Certification, are paid an additional $5,000 each year. And board-certified teachers in schools with high poverty who teach certain subjects can earn an additional $5,000 per year.
Under a new program, called the Teacher Excellence and Accountability for Mathematics and Science (TEAMS), math and science teachers in grade 6-12 could get paid on a new salary schedule. That pay scale ranges from $46,690 for new teachers with a bachelor’s degree to $94,829 for teachers with 27-plus years of experience with a doctorate.
And National Board Certified Teachers — who may have already qualified for two $5,000 bonuses mentioned previously can earn yet another $5,000 if they teach in a “hard to staff” school in the TEAMS program. The list of “hard to staff” schools will be developed by the state education department.
Teachers hoping to move to the TEAMS pay schedule must give up the protections of tenure in exchange for the higher pay and must meet certain eligibility criteria.
Given the changes ahead, AL.com took a look at the average teacher salary by district for the current school year.
Districts across the state paid teachers an average of $51,995 during the current school year. These amounts do not include one-time bonuses or stipends paid to teachers this year due to the challenging work conditions.
That amount differs from district to district, with Vestavia Hills City schools paying the highest average of $61,022 and Chilton County paying the lowest at $43,948.
Keep in mind that “average teacher salary” is a function of two things: years of experience and the college degree obtained. For example, a teacher with 10 years of experience who hold a master’s degree is paid higher than a teacher with the same amount of experience who holds a bachelor’s degree.
In other words, higher average pay could be a reflection of a more experienced, higher-degreed cohort of teachers.
While most teacher salaries are based on the state’s minimum teacher salary schedule, those with higher local tax support often pay their teachers more, making those districts more attractive for teachers to work in.
The table below includes not only the average teacher pay but also the average years of experience of the teachers, the total number of classroom teachers in the district and the median income of families with children under 18 within the school district’s geographic area.
No administrator salaries are included in the averages. These amounts represent gross pay before deductions or benefits. Benefits add another 18% to 20% to total compensation.
Teacher salary data came from the Alabama State Department of Education. Median family income came from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 2019 data.
Sort the table by clicking on the column’s label.https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/3RUBo/6/
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