While the starting salary for teachers in St. Paul rings in at a modest $37,409, a recent study by the National Council on Teacher Quality shows that the city's educators can take home more money during a 30-year career than almost anywhere else in America.
According to the study, which examined 113 school districts nationwide, it takes St. Paul teachers only 11 years to reach a salary of $75,000, thus making the estimated 30-year payout $2.051 million (adjusted for inflation).
In comparison, teachers over the same period of time in Anoka County can expect to earn $1.808 million, while those in Minneapolis ring in at $1.858 million.
Nick Faber of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers says the prospect of higher pay is used to reward teacher performance as well as to retain good educators who are committed to working in the city.
He also thinks the study exploited the $2 million figure for the sake of an attention grab.
"We're proud of the fact our teachers can earn a good salary," says Faber, "but that's only part of it. Our members are concerned about other things as well, like class size and the support staff they're given."
According to the study, teachers receiving "exemplary" status in Pittsburgh topped the list, earning an inflation-adjusted $2.7 million over 30 years.
The runner-up was the District of Columbia, where teachers could earn $2.6 million.
But just when you think teachers in Minnesota are somehow overpaid, consider this: Salaries in the state still rank below the national average.
According to the Washington Post, the average teacher salary in Minnesota last year was $56,268, which is $115 below the national average.
As for St. Paul, the city boasts the second-best pay for teachers in the state with an average salary of $65,840, only behind the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan district at $67,848. Minneapolis teachers round out the top three with an average salary of $65,224.
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