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BOE member: NMI has nation’s next-to-lowest teacher salaries

THE commonwealth has the second-to- lowest salaries for teachers in the U.S., Board of Education member Herman T. Guerrero said, citing a report from Public School System federal programs officer Tim Thornburgh.

According to the report, the CNMI’s starting salary for teachers is $30,976 a year while the average compensation is $39,988 a year.

“We are a bit higher than South Dakota, which has a starting salary of $29,851 and an average salary of $39,018,” Guerrero said.

The BOE, he added, has approved a compensation plan to increase the salaries of PSS teachers.

“Even in the states, there are not enough teachers so we are competing with the states. The shortage of teachers is not a local issue — it’s a national issue.”

For fiscal year 2018, PSS is asking for a $54 million budget which includes a provision increasing the starting salaries for teachers from $30,000 to $33,000 a year.

“In order for us to be competitive nationally, we need to continue to push our Legislature to recognize and support our PSS employees because recruitment is a challenge,” Education Commissioner Cynthia Deleon Guerrero said in an earlier interview.

BOE member Herman T. Guerrero believes that PSS can entice new college graduates to teach in the CNMI by offering higher starting salaries.

He noted that although the pay in the U.S. is higher, residents there also have to pay higher taxes, both federal and state, and they spend more on rent, among other things.

The following list of teacher salaries across the U.S. is from a report prepared by Public School System federal programs officer Tim Thornburgh:

New York

Starting: $43,839

Average: $75,279

Massachusetts

Starting: $40,600

Average: $69,397

California

Starting: $41, 259

Average: $69,324

New Jersey

Starting: $48,631

Average: $68,797

Alaska

Starting: $44,166

Average: $65, 468

Rhode Island

Starting: $39,196

Average: $63,474

Pennsylvania

Starting: $41,901

Average: $62,994

Arizona

Starting: $31,874

Average: $49,885

Idaho

Starting: $31,159

Average: $49,734

Nebraska

Starting: $30,844

Average: $48,997

Montana

Starting: $27,274

Average: $48,855

Missouri

Starting: $30,064

Average: $47,517

Mississippi

Starting: $31,184

Average: $41,814

Oklahoma

Starting: $31,606

Average: $44, 373

CNMI

Starting: $30,976

Average: $39, 988

South Dakota

Starting: $29,851

Average: $39,018

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/97151-boe-member-nmi-has-nation-s-next-to-lowest-teacher-salaries

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