Education-News1The Virginia Education Association says teachers in the state are wondering how a recent federal study determined they are paid above the national average. The VEA says the state average is actually more than $6,700 below the national norm, the widest gap on record. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

(Continue reading for the full VEA statement.)

Statement by VEA President Meg Gruber

For a number of years, the salaries of Virginia teachers have lagged below the national average. Unfortunately, that’s still the case.

The National Education Association collects salary information directly from each state education department annually. In 2012, the national average teacher salary was $55,418. The average salary for Virginia teachers was $48,703. Virginia teachers trail the national average by $6,715. See the full report (attached) for details.

We are working to find out why the Bureau of Labor Statistics data differs so much from the established annual reports compiled by the NEA and used by numerous sources, including the influential Congressional Quarterly. One difference between the BLS report and previous salary reports is that the BLS report includes non-Virginia jurisdictions in suburban Maryland in its calculations of the “Washington-Arlington-Alexandria” region. (Incidentally, that region was the only region of 10 in Virginia that exceeded the national average by a significant margin in the BLS report on teacher salary.)

Virginia teachers deserve fair pay, and that’s why it so important to make sure accurate information is available to guide the public and policymakers.