In a press release the State of South Dakota trumped the fact that South Dakota’s average teacher salaries during the 2016-2017 school year were no longer the lowest in the nation.

According to the National Education Association’s 2018 Rankings and Estimates report, South Dakota’s average teacher salary rose from 51st in the nation to 48th. Take that Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia!

According to the report, South Dakota’s average teacher salaries increased from $42,025 in 2015-16 to $46,979 in 2016-17. That is an increase of $4,954 or 11.8 percent, the largest one-year increase. This is the first time since 1985 that South Dakota’s average teacher salaries were not the lowest in the nation.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard said in a statement, “We also sent an important message to our teachers – that we value the work they do, that three decades in last place was enough...”

The report adds that the U.S. average public school teacher salary for 2016–2017 was $59,660. New York ($81,902), California ($79,128), and Massachusetts ($78,100) were at the top of the list.

South Dakota teacher salaries rank higher when adjusted for cost of living. According to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the state ranks 29th when the NEA state averages are adjusted to reflect state and local tax rate and regional price parity data.


 

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