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Study: U.S. education spending tops global list, but students still trail rivals


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The average first-year high school teacher in the United States earns about $38,000. OECD nations pay their comparable educators just more than $31,000.

That trails Luxembourg, which pays its first year teachers more than $72,000 a year, but far exceeds the $10,000 paid to first-year high school teachers in Slovakia. Among all educators, U.S. payrolls are competitive. The average high school teacher in the United States earns about $53,000, well above the average of $45,500 among all OECD nations.

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Even so, other nations have increased teachers’ salaries more quickly than the United States, which has been confronting tighter budgets as a result of the economic recession.

Teachers’ salaries increased between 17 percent and 20 percent between 2000 and 2011 in the nations where salaries were tracked; in the United States, that increase was just 3 percent.

"Teachers’ salaries represent the largest single cost in formal education and have a direct impact on the attractiveness of the teaching profession," the report states. "Since compensation and working conditions are important for attracting, developing and retaining skilled and high-quality teachers, policy makers should carefully consider teachers’ salaries as they try to ensure both quality teaching and sustainable education budgets."




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