Events | Inequality and Poverty

Teacher Compensation Penalty: Impact on teachers, education, and society

Date: October 14, 2020

Public school teachers earn about 20% less in weekly wages than nonteacher college graduates, according to a new report by EPI Distinguished Fellow Lawrence Mishel and UC Berkeley Economist and EPI Research Associate Sylvia Allegretto. Although teachers on average enjoy better benefits packages than similar workers, the authors find that benefits only mitigate part of the pay penalty.

EPI President Thea Lee will moderate a discussion featuring the National Education Association President Becky Pringle and the report’s authors, Mishel and Allegretto. The speakers will share findings from the report, delve into the history of teacher pay, and assess the impact of the persistent pay inequity. The speakers will offer solutions that ensure teachers are fairly compensated. Shawna Mott-Wright, a teacher and president of the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association, will share her experience on the ground.

Key findings from the report include:

  • The wage penalty has grown remarkably among women.
  • The male teacher wage penalty lessened in the mid-1990s, but worsened in the late 1990s and into the early 2000s.
  • Of the eight states with the largest wage penalties, four were where massive walkouts took place in 2018: Arizona(31.8%), Oklahoma (29.0%), Colorado (28.8%), and North Carolina (25.3%).

Becky Pringle, president, National Education Association
Larry Mishel, distinguished fellow, Economic Policy Institute
Sylvia Allegretto, economist, University of California, Berkeley, and research associate, Economic Policy Institute
Shawna Mott-Wright, teacher and president, Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association.

Moderated by Thea Lee, president, Economic Policy Institute

What: A panel discussion on findings from EPI’s recently released report on the teacher compensation penalty.

When: Wednesday, October 14
4 p.m.—5 p.m. ET / 1 p.m.— 2 p.m. PT

Where: Zoom, YouTube

RSVP for the event

EPI will be live-streaming this event on YouTube on October 14 starting at 4 p.m.—5 p.m. ET / 1 p.m.— 2 p.m. PT. Just click on the video below at that time.