Proposal seeks $8,000 raise for teachers in South Dakota

The state with the lowest average teacher pay in the nation has a new plan to boost yearly salaries by $8,000. South Dakota’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Teachers and Students released its final recommendations in November. Led by legislators, the task force included participation by teachers, school administrators, and state fiscal and education leaders.

According to the National Education Association, the average U.S. teacher salary in 2013 was $56,000. The average teacher salary in South Dakota is $40,000. The relatively low wage paid to South Dakota teachers is contributing to teacher shortages and turnover in the state, the task force says. To boost average pay to $48,000 a year, the Legislature and governor would need to find an additional $75 million in state funding. If existing state funds are not enough to reach this target, the task force recommends increasing the sales tax.

During the 2012-13 school year, teacher salaries were higher than the national average in four Midwestern states: Michigan (11th in the nation), Illinois (13th), Ohio (16th) and Minnesota (17th).
Stateline Midwest: December 20152.03 MB