LA Unified teachers, on average, rank 5th nationally in salary
Yana Gracile | June 23, 2014
The top four districts for paying teachers with a bachelor’s degree and five years of experience are Chicago ($62,046), New York ( $52,278), Hawaii ($50,728) and Houston ($47,273), with LA Unified next, at $46,794, according to the NCTQ data.
New York is the nation’s largest school district, and LA Unified is second-largest. The NCTQ survey includes findings from 114 of the largest school districts in the country.
Salary is a hot topic these days in LA Unified. The district has offered its local union, UTLA, only a 2 percent raise for the coming year, on top of a 2 percent bonus for the year just completed. That would raise the average annual salary to $48,683, passing only Houston on the NCTQ list, assuming no other districts ahead of Los Angeles give their teachers raises.
The LA union is demanding a 17.6 percent raise, over an unspecified number of years. Applying a three-year schedule, that would still leave LA teachers at No. 4 behind Chicago, New York and Hawaii.
In the category of fully certified first-year teachers with a bachelor’s degree, the salary order is fairly similar. Chicago once again takes the lead with $49,660, followed by Houston ($46,805), LA Unified ($45,637), New York ($45,530) and Hawaii ($43,759).
Salaries in Hawaii are competitive with large mainland cities because schools in the islands generally have to pay more to attract quality teachers.
According to the data, there is just a slight increase across the board in salaries for teachers with a master’s degree and five years experience in the top districts, generally between $3,000 and $6,000, over teachers with only a bachelor’s.
In LA Unified, teachers with a master’s and five years experience earn $52,579, about $5,785 more in annual salary, making those teachers the fourth highest paid in the top districts across the country, behind Chicago, New York and Hawaii.
NCTQ is a Washington, D.C.-based organization that advocates for higher quality preparation programs for teacher candidates. The salary data has been part of its annual Teacher Contract Database base since 2005.
*Clarifies to say LA ranks 5th among the 10 largest districts in the US.