Brownback: Kansas Teachers Earn More Than Missouri Counterparts
In a news conference Friday, Gov. Sam Brownback said he wants to “start getting out the facts" regarding Kansas teachers' salaries and the number of teachers leaving the state. But according to school officials, the numbers he presented don't quite add up.
A yearly report by the Kansas State Department of Education found that 399 teachers left Kansas in 2011 to teach in another state. Last year, that number was 654, a 63 percent increase. State board of education members have expressed concern over the numbers of and said the state needs to improve teacher pay and teachers need to be made to feel more appreciated.
Brownback, though, says the average teachers salary in the state of Kansas has increased every year since 2010 and is currently just under $55,000.
“Compare that to one of our neighboring states, Missouri, where their teachers have experienced two pay cuts since 2010 and earn on average $47,847," Brownback said. "On average Kansas schoolteachers make $7000 more per year than do their Missouri counterparts.”
But Nancy Bowles, spokeswoman for Missouri's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, says Missouri's figure doesn't include benefits because local districts don't report that information to the state.
Without fringe benefits, the Kansas salary total is about $49,700, including extra summertime pay.