RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Recently released data ranking states based on how much teachers are compensated shows that Texas teachers are behind the national average in yearly pay.

The National Education Association (NEA) released a report on how much educators earn across the country.

NEA’s findings reveal the national average teacher salary is $65,293. However, Texas’s average salary for teachers is $57,641, ranking the state 28th in the country.

Texas ranks a little higher in regard to salaries for starting teachers. Texas is 14th in this category with an average starting salary of $44,527.

However, the Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA) points out that the average pay for veteran teachers is 43rd in the country.

“Our most experienced teachers are particularly frustrated with salary policies that do not adequately recognize them for additional training and experience. Texas’ record in this regard is abysmal,” Ovidia Molina, TSTA President said.

Texas also ranks fairly low on its “per-student spending.” Texas spends an average of $10,741 per student, ranking the state 42nd in the country.

School support staff, including bus drivers cafeteria workers, and secretaries, among others, were paid, on average, $29,067 in 2020-21, ranking Texas 38th in the nation.

Factoring in inflation, TSTA says teachers are making 1.54 percent less now than they were in 2012-2013 when adjusted to inflation.

Despite these shortcomings, across 2020-2021, Texas ranked 10th highest in the percentage of state and local school revenue paid by local taxpayers. According to TSTA, local property taxes accounted for 57.7 percent of state and local school revenue in 2020-2021.

A 2019 bill in the Texas Legislature was designed to cut property taxes for Texans while the state would provide more funding for schools. However, these recent findings show that this is not exactly the case at this time.

“The new state task force studying teacher shortages can start here,” Molina said. “Other factors, including the pandemic and the disrespect that some state leaders have shown educators, are driving good, experienced teachers from the classroom. But the bottom line for most teachers is their bottom line. The pay raises in 2019 were not enough. They can no longer afford doing the work they love.”