VERIFY: How do Ky. teacher salaries compare to neighboring states?

Governor Bevin said Kentucky Teachers pay is greater than teacher salaries in neighboring states — is that true? WHAS11 News’ Verify Team put that statement to the test.

A topic of contention for weeks now, the pension reform bill is getting a lot of pushback from Kentucky teachers.

In that debate, Governor Matt Bevin has made some pretty bold statements about teachers including calling them selfish.

He also said Kentucky teachers make much more money than those in neighboring states.

WHAS11 News’ Derrick Rose put that statement to the verify test.

Governor Matt Bevin said Kentucky teachers are already paid more than neighboring states on Larry Smith’s WVLC radio show this week.

“The average teacher in Kentucky makes more money than the average teacher in Tennessee, makes more money than the average teacher in Virginia, makes more money than the average teacher in West Virginia, makes more money than the average teacher in Missouri, makes more money than the average teacher in Indiana, and in other states that border us,” said Governor Bevin.

To verify whether that statement is true, we enlisted several sources, including the National Education Association as well as a spokesperson from each of the Departments of Education in each of the five states mentioned by the governor.

We found the average overall pay for a teacher in the Commonwealth of Kentucky is just over $52,300.

When you compare that figure to the other states, the average salary for teachers in Kentucky is higher than four out of the five states mentioned by the Governor.

Teachers in Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee and West Virginia on average make less than teachers in Kentucky.

However, Kentucky teachers’ salary is about $4,000 less than teachers in Virginia.

Virginia’s education spokesperson said they include counselor and librarian salaries in that figure.

The numbers from the National Education Association leave those positions out and the NEA’s most recent report ranks Kentucky above each of the other states.

Based on all of this information, we can verify the governor’s statement’s on Kentucky teacher pay is accurate.

One neighboring state Bevin did not mention by name was Ohio. The NEA ranks Ohio teacher pay above that of Kentucky.


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