By: Dorey Scheimer, Jacqueline Fell, Cox Media Group Washington News Bureau
WASHINGTON – As teachers head back to the classroom, a new study finds the pay gap between public school teachers and other college graduates wider than ever.
Teachers earned 17 percent less than other college graduates in 2015, according to a report from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.
The gap was just 1.8 percent in 1994.
“Teachers are committed. They’re not necessarily in it to make a ton of money, but they need to be able to support their families too,” said Lawrence Marshall, of the Economic Policy Institute.
Researchers said that even when you factor in benefits, which are typically better than other workers, teachers still come up short.
“The consequence is that teachers are leaving the profession in greater numbers and it’s harder to recruit new teachers,” Marshall said.
The study also looked at the impact of teacher unions.
Teachers who were represented by a union were paid higher salaries than those who were not.
The EPI study said the wage gap adds to an already difficult period for educators.
Teachers are retiring, the demand for teachers is growing and fewer people are entering the field.