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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Another unflattering look at Florida teacher pay



trend_line_down.Last year, we let you know that Florida teacher pay, after several years of big budget cuts, was headed to No. 47 in the country. Now the latest Education Week Quality Counts report, out today, report notes the relative decline in another way.

In 2010, Florida teachers earned 84.7 percent of what professionals in comparable occupations earned, according to the paper's latest "teacher pay parity index." While that was slightly higher than the 84.0 percent they earned in 2008, the increase was much lower than it was for teachers in many other states. (We're assuming Ed Week looked at 2010 figures because that was the most recent year that data was available for all states.)

To put it another way: In 2008, Florida was ahead of 15 states in the parity index. In 2010, it was ahead of five.

To put a little spin on the numbers, Florida ranks a projected No. 47 in teacher pay and No. 45 in teacher pay parity, but No. 12 in student achievement (according to Ed Week's formula, and that's a dropoff from No. 6 last year). Hmmm.

Only one state in Ed Week's overall Top 10 (West Virginia) had a lower parity figure than Florida's, at 84.0. And no state in the Top 10 on the student achievement portion had a lower parity figure than Florida. (Two were close: Colorado at 84.9, and Virginia at 86.2). Coincidence?

As far as we can tell, the parity index does not include benefits, which is clearly a whole other can of worms.

The pay-parity index is one small piece of Ed Week's massive report, so you have to look close to find it. It's part of the ranking category that deals with the teaching profession. Some of the Ed Week QC material is free; some is available only to subscribers. But we think you can see the state-by-state parity index info from the 2012 report here, and from the 2010 report here.

You can read more about the index, and which professions it considers comparable, here.

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[Last modified: Thursday, January 12, 2012 2:31pm]


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