NEA Salary Rankings & Estimates 2018-2019: Compared to national average of $60,477, MO ranks 43rd at $49,304

Even with the slight increase, teachers in the Show-Me state drop two points on the national ranking.

May 8, 2019

NEA’s annual publication, Rankings and Estimates, which details the financial expenditures, revenue, enrollment numbers, and average teacher salaries for public schools in each state was released this week. You can download the full report from the NEA website at
Enrollment and Attendance

The report shows that U.S. public-school student enrollment and attendance fell by a small margin (0.07 percent from 2017 to 2018), while the number of classroom teachers (75,350) has risen 0.83 percent. 

Missouri ranks 20th in the nation for student fall enrollment numbers (2018, 883,643 students). Decreasing slightly from 2017 (883,908). Missouri also ranks high on average daily attendance numbers, 18th in the nation at 844,406. Missouri’s number of high school graduates rose 0.6 percent in 2018, which means the Show-Me state remained stagnate at 18th in the nation. Graduate numbers are expected to rise 3.79 percent from 61,637 to 63,972 in 2019.

Classroom Teachers
There were more than 3.1 million teachers working in public schools in the United States during 2017‒18. Missouri employs 75,350 of those teachers, ranking 13th in the nation. Missouri will see a decrease (1.30%) in the number of teachers in 2019, down to 74,367. 

Missouri is also doing a good job of keeping the students to teacher ratio at acceptable levels at 11.7 students per classroom teacher, which falls under the national average of 15.8. 

Teacher Salary 
The national average public-school teacher salary for 2017–18 was $60,477. State average teacher salaries ranged from those in New York ($84,277), California ($80,680), and Massachusetts ($80,357) at the high end to West Virginia ($45,642) and Mississippi ($44,926) at the low end. The average U.S. classroom teacher salary is estimated to increase by 1.58 percent from $59,539 in 2016-17 to $60,477 in 2017-18. 

Missouri showed a small 1.41 percent increase from 2017 ($48,620) to 2016 ($49,304). Unfortunately, even with the slight increase, we are not keeping up with the rest of the country. Missouri moved into 43rd down from 41st in the nation. Missouri is still lagging behind the national average by more than $10,000. In 2019, Missouri teachers are estimated to inch up 1.54 percent to wages averaging $50,064. 

Over the last decade, the national average classroom teacher salary has increased 11.5 percent. However, after inflation adjustment, the average salary actually decreased by 4.5 percent.

School Revenue 
Nationally, school funding continues to be state and local oriented. In 2016-17 47.0 percent and in 2017‒18 47.1 percent of public-school revenue came from state funds, closely followed by local receipts (45.1% then 45.4%). Federal funds constituted 7.9 percent (2017) and 7.5 percent (2018), of K-12 education revenue, totaling $13,790 per student in 2017 and $14,188 in 2018. 

In comparison, Missouri ranks 4th in the nation on revenue received from local sources (2017, 59.0% and 2018, 58.4%); ranks 49th in the nation on state revenue for public schools (2017, 32.5% and 2018, 33.2%); and just above the national average for revenue received from the federal government (2017, 8.5% and 2018, 8.4%). Missouri’s overall revenue per student increased from $12,903 in 2017 to $13,084 in 2018, dropping one point to 27th in the U.S. for public school revenue per student. 

Since 2009-10, federal funding has dropped 5.6 percentage points (12.9% in 2019-10 to 7.3 % in 2018-19), putting more and more pressure on the state and local governments to fund public education. 

Expenditures per Student 
The national average per student expenditure in 2017–18 fall enrollment was $12,602. States with the highest per student expenditures: New York ($23,894) and District of Columbia ($21,001). Idaho ($6,809) and Utah ($7,187) had the lowest per student expenditures. Expenditures per student in fall enrollment is estimated to increase nationally by 3.0 percent for 2019.

Missouri falls below center, ranking 32nd, with 2018 expenditures per student at $11,222. 

Over the last decade, the average per student expenditure has risen 20.6 percent from $10,715 to $12,920. After inflation adjustment, the expenditure per student enrollment has increased by 3.3 percent.

Submitted by 
Rishanda Richardson, MNEA Electronic Communications and Research Coordinator
Data from NEA Research 2018-2019 Rankings & Estimates, May 2019

Posted Date: 5/8/2019
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