Adjusted for cost of living, Oklahoma teacher pay jumps to 11th highest in nation

April 2, 2018 

To The Editor: 

I thought you would like to know that after adjusting for cost of living, Oklahoma’s teacher pay rises from 31st in the nation to 11th as a result of the teacher pay raise. It will be highest among our bordering states. This is based on the NEA’s average salary figures for 2016 and the 2017 cost of living index calculated by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. This ranking does not account for changes in other states’ averages such as the recent increase in West Virginia.

Oklahoma currently ranks 48th among the states in average teacher pay without adjusting for cost of living. With the teacher pay raise, Oklahoma moves up to 28th among the states in the unadjusted ranking. However, Oklahoma has the third lowest cost of living in the nation.
Adjusting for this fact, average teacher pay currently ranks 31st and the teacher pay increase moves the average to 11th. Texas, the next-highest state in average teacher pay, ranks 14th after Oklahoma’s teacher pay increase, $700 behind Oklahoma after the pay raise.

An additional $3,900 raise, which teachers are demanding for a total of $10,000, would see Oklahoma’s cost of living adjusted pay rise to fourth among the states.
I will send out a fully formatted table with this information once it is formatted.


Byron Schlomach, 1889 Institute 

Dr. Schlomach is director of the 1889 Institute, a policy “think
tank” in Oklahoma City.

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