Teacher Pay Penalty Driving Educators Away From Profession

Randy Pontius makes less money now as an Indiana social studies teacher than he did when he started 15 years ago.

“I know of no other profession where you have that many years of experience and have consistently received evaluations of highly effective or effective and your pay goes down rather than up,” he says.

After eight years in the classroom in Hamlet, Indiana, Pontius was laid off because of budget cuts. When he began teaching at his current school he was offered a first year teacher salary of $34,000 despite his prior experience. He now earns just $40,000 a year after 15 years in the classroom and a masters degree.