Salary of first-year teachers in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

Quality public education helps all students thrive. One component of a successful school system is that teachers are compensated fairly. While it is widely established that higher wages attract more productive individuals into teaching, a recent study also found that for existing teachers, a 10% an increase in wages improves student performance measurably.

What the data shows:

In Maine, starting teacher salaries lag behind all of the other New England states, and in 2021 Maine was ranked 43rd  in the United States. National Educational Association Teacher Pay by state. The Maine state legislature has already passes a bill to raise minimum teacher salary next year 2022-2023, but given inflation and workforce shortages and the starting pay in other New England states, more may need to be considered.

In the two years between the 2019-2020 school year and the 2021-2022 school year, the average first-year teacher salary in Maine increased 7.7%, from $36,393 to $39,195. The top starting salaries were in York, ($41,707), Cumberland ($41,615) and Knox ($40,852). The lowest starting salaries for first-year teachers were in Washington ($37,540), Penobscot ($37,907) and Somerset ($38,046).
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Definitions: The starting average first-year teacher salary is based on contracts submitted to Maine's educational union called the Educational Association (MEA). The definition of starting teacher salary is the amount a district has agreed in their contract to pay a first-year teacher by with a Bachelor's Degree and no experience teaching. The  average of the county is computed by averaging the contracted starting salaries by district, without regard to how many teachers were hired at that salary. 

Data Source: MEA Salary Guide.

Footnotes: The year 2022 refers to the school year 2021-2022. Not every district submitted information to the MEA for every year, so the data is based only on districts that did. Notably, Lewiston and RSU 9 did not submit for 2021-2022. 

These are unweighted averages. This means that it is the average of the counties in the districts starting salaries, not the average pay of all the first year teachers hired. For example if a county had two districts and one hired five teachers at $60,000 each and the second school hired one teacher at $30,000, the unweighted average would ($60,000 +$30,000) divided by 2 = $45,000 and not (5* $60,000)+(1*30,000)/6 = $55,000.

Data entered September 2022