Map of Teacher Compensation

A blog about business and economics.
Sept. 12 2012 2:14 PM

What Do Teachers Get Paid (MAP)

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Here's a map from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing mean wages for high school teachers in different places around the country. This OES survey is conducted for lots of occupations, and the break it down geographically by metropolitan areas which is probably much less appropriate for teachers than for most professions but you go to war with the dataset you have.

One thing you see here is that the most highly paid teachers tend to be concentrated in the expensive-houses belt of the northeast and the Pacific Coast. That's sensible practice. As a DC resident I would be worried if our teachers weren't paid an above-average amount since I know our "cost of living" is unusually high and we're going to end up with substandard living standards and substandard teachers unless we pay a compensating premium. But then again this is another reason to think that high cost coastal areas would benefit from policies to expand housing supply—it would in effect be an increase in the real wages of public sector workers that woudln't require anyone to pay higher taxes.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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