Report: South Carolina teachers see average salary drop

A report from the Nation Education Association shows South Carolina teacher salaries shrank...
A report from the Nation Education Association shows South Carolina teacher salaries shrank 0.26% last year.(Live 5 News)
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 4:31 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Despite efforts to elevate teacher salaries over the last few years, a new report shows South Carolina actually saw a decrease in average teacher pay.

According to the research done by the National Education Association, the average teacher salary in South Carolina dropped by 0.26 percent from the 2019-2020 school year to the 2020-2021 school year.

Only two other states saw salaries shrink.

Idaho dropped by 2 percent and Georgia dropped by 0.04 percent. Meanwhile inflation in 2021 was about 5 percent.

South Carolina was the second worst in the nation for salary growth behind Idaho. Neighboring North Carolina also struggled to increase teacher salary finding itself 44th on the list.

Despite the drop in average salaries, South Carolina ranks 39th for average teacher pay overall.

Sherry East is the president of South Carolina Education Association and says the state legislature has a record budget surplus and should be spending some of that money on teachers.

“During this teacher appreciation week, we certainly aren’t feeling very appreciated,” said East who is also a teacher. “We already know we have a severe teacher shortage right now. We know that compensation is part of the reason why teachers are leaving the profession and to see that in black and white compared to other states that are around us and what other states are doing was just, you know, adding fuel to the fire. We need to do something if we are going to save the profession of education right now.”

Across the nation, teachers are effectively making $2,179 dollars less than they did 10 years ago.

Hawaii had the largest percentage increase last year at nearly 8.5 percent.

Read the full report here:

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