Although I keep hearing the same old saying about teachers being poorly paid, an (old) article in the New York times "The Rise of the Six-Figure Teacher" (2005) argues that there have been major increases to teacher's salaries and that teaching surely can become a highly-paid field.
However, it has been seven years since that article was published and I wonder what REAL teachers see happening.
On our salary scale, they came up with "half steps", but they have kept the full steps for any possible recovery. So, a teacher with 10 years of experience is making what they made as a 6th year teacher. Lane changes seem to help, but they are down about 10% from what they were pre-2008. I must say that our superintendent, along with all of the employees at the district office, gave up their Christmas bonuses and raises in order to keep more teaching jobs operational. That was really awesome of them.
In my area, teacher salaries have generally remained flat (in fact they were frozen for the last two years in response to budget constraints). Layoffs, as others have mentioned, are not as common as elsewhere, but a problem I haven't seen mentioned is that many schools have cut back on supplies, which in effect forces teachers to pay for instructional items. I know teachers who spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on paper, provide their own printers and ink, and even buy classroom sets of books for their students. Other than being able to claim it on tax returns, there is little in the way of compensation.
I work at a very small rural district. Pay is not as good in the smaller districts as it is in the larger ones. Salaries can fluctuate as much as 15,000 from district to district.
Same here in New Hampshire. We got a small increase, but almost everyone on the faculty will actually see less money in their paychecks because the cost of health insurance rose dramatically, more than offsetting the pay increase. Like pohnpei, I am in a rural district, so my pay is much better than that of most of my neighbors and friends; however I could not live very well on this salary in a more urban area.
We here in Washington are in pretty much the same boat as everyone else. Salaries haven't gone down, but they're not going up by much either. I should note, however, that districts can have different pay scales here. My district is in a rural area and teacher salaries are really quite good when compared to many of the other salaries available in the area.
Teachers in Florida have received primarily yearly "step" raises for the past few years. Although individual school districts decide the pay scales of their teachers, there have been no significant raises (more than 5% in one year) for more than a decade). Additionally, Florida is trying to do away with all forms of teacher tenure in an effort to weed out older, higher-paid teachers in favor of younger teachers who can be paid less.
Salaries have increased over the last few years, but not by much. Percentage increases for the scale have been in the low single digits - 2%, 3%... State funds have been used to help increase the base pay for new teachers, which helps everyone else as the scale builds from that starting point, but my district is also looking at changing the levels at which pay increases for different years of experience maxes out.
I would have to agree with vangohfan. From what I have seen, teacher salaries aren't moving up, but are being frozen in these hard economic times. Teacher's who are supposed to be moving up the pay scale because of experience aren't seeing those increases like they should be. This is compounded by the increase in health insurance, teacher retirement fund, taxes, etc., so we are actually seeing less in our paycheck. Yes, when teachers get more education they are paid more, so after MANY years of experience and many hours of education it is possible to earn a high salary. However, getting that education is very expensive as well and many districts do not offer compensation for those education bills.
In my area, teacher salaries have basically been flat or even frozen for the last several years. In fact, new legislation now requires teachers to pay more into the retirement system and more for insurance, so, in essence, teachers who still have jobs (many have been laid off) are bringing home less money now than was true a few years ago. We live in a sorry society in which so much has to be spent on prisons while funding for education gets cut. [Please forgive editorial comment!]
In my state, the state government has paid much attention in education and they have been paying almost at par with the price hike. College teachers are paid highly and measures have been take to utilise them fully in teaching students with new technology, teaching aid. Teachers are now satisfied with their emoluments and giving much time in colleges. Even the other teachers in High schools and primary levels are also paid according to their educational qualification and efficiency. Thanks to Indian Government for their atention to Higher Education and even at the primary level.