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Letter: Teacher salaries continue to fall behind

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

As teachers return to the classroom, I worry that teaching may no longer be a middle class career that supports their families. According to the NEA, Virginia rates 41st in the nation for state funding of public schools.

Virginia teachers average $6,700 less in salary than the national average; 59 percent of teachers have a second job. Teachers make an average of 70 percent of what similarly educated workers make in the private sector.

According to Money magazine (August 2018), teacher salaries, adjusted for inflation, have dropped steadily since 2003. In Virginia, the median household income is $68,114. The average Virginia teacher’s salary is $53,300. Additionally, teachers pay an increasingly larger percentage of their health care and retirement benefits. Many teachers face crippling student loans. For these reasons, 35 percent fewer students are enrolling in teacher education programs.

Money magazine states that hundreds of teachers are leaving th...

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