Gov. Brad Little’s push for a $40,000 minimum teacher salary raises an inevitable question: How does Idaho’s starting pay stack up nationally?
That’s not easy to answer, but according to the National Education Association, Idaho’s average starting salary ranked No. 44 in the nation in 2016-17.
Idaho’s starting salary averaged out at $33,743, the NEA said. Only Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia paid less.
Idaho was nearly 13 percent lower than the national average, $38,617.
Here’s how Idaho stacked up compared to its neighbors:
The NEA’s numbers are a bit dated. But Little’s office, the State Board of Education and the Idaho Education Association did not have more current figures.
To be sure, a lot has changed since 2016-17.
At the time, Idaho was in the second year of the rollout of the career ladder — a five-year plan to raise teacher salaries. The minimum salary was $33,400; this year’s minimum is $35,800.
If lawmakers approve the fifth year of the career ladder, which carries a $48 million price tag, the minimum salary would increase to $37,000.
Separately, Little has recommended putting an additional $11.2 million into teacher pay. This would boost the minimum salary to $40,000 — and fold in similar raises to other rungs at the bottom of the career ladder.
Coming Thursday: Idaho is in Year Four of the career ladder. How do teacher salaries stack up? An in-depth look.