The Best and Worst Paying Cities for America’s High School Teachers

Would you go to college to become a teacher if you knew you’d earn an average salary of $39,000? That’s the average high school teacher salary in Logan, Utah, (it’s actually $38,710), the lowest of the low salaries included in MSN Money’s slideshow, ‘The 25 Worst-Paying Cities for High School Teachers.’

The slideshow comprises shots–some hilarious–of overworked, underpaid teachers in the cities that seem to value them least. Notably, almost all of the low-payers are in the South. The highest salary included? High school teachers in Jackson, Mississippi, earn an average of $43,610.

But don’t be discouraged–the folks at MSN realize that it’s a big country and that some cities pay their teachers well. In its ‘The 25 Best-Paying Cities for High School Teachers’ slideshow, the city paying the lowest of the high salaries is more than $20,000 more than the highest low salary. That salary is in Bakersfield, California, however, a city that is much more expensive to live in than most cities in the South.

[Related: Empowering Parents to Support Their Children’s Education]

What would be even more interesting and helpful would be an analysis of the average salaries in the context of the cost of living in each city represented. Still, a $20,000 difference seems pretty significant to me, no matter where you live. In Holland, Michigan, the average high school teacher salary is $69,320. Holland is a small town–are expenses that high in Michigan? Sounds as if that salary might be pretty good. Most of the high salaries are paid in California, a fairly expensive state to live in. But the highest salary–$80,760–is earned in Poughkeepsie, New York; also an expensive state to live in, though I’m not sure that Poughkeepsie is particularly dear.

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