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Professional Pay

Too many educators have been denied competitive, professional pay for too long. Attracting and retaining qualified school staff -- K-12 teachers, higher education faculty, and education support professionals (ESPs) -- requires salaries that are competitive with those in comparable professions.

Low teacher pay comes at a high cost for schools and kids, who lose good teachers to better-paying professions. Some 20 percent of new public school teachers leave the profession by the end of the first year, and almost half leave within five years.

NEA will continually work with its state affiliates to maintain competitive starting, mid-career, and top salaries that reflect a simple fact --educators are worth it, especially in light of the changing demands and responsibilities of their jobs.