What Do We Know About Public Teacher Compensation?

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The brief’s key findings are:

  • Whether public teachers are over- or under-paid is a source of lively debate.
  • This study sheds new light on the topic by using more accurate estimates of benefit costs.
  • The results show that teachers earn roughly the same as similar private sector workers.
  • However, given cuts to pension benefits for teachers hired in the past decade, relative compensation is likely to decline over time.
  • And uncompetitive compensation may make it harder to recruit high-quality teachers, potentially leading to worse outcomes for students.