Arkansas Teachers Still Among Lowest Paid in Nation

JULY 15, 2004 - Posted at 7:50 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A national survey of teacher salaries released Wednesday concluded what Arkansas leaders already know, that the state's teacher pay has long ranked among the lowest in the nation.

But state education leaders say Arkansas' ranking as the 44th lowest paying state for teachers in a survey released by the American Federation of Teachers will soon change because of a $2.7 billion investment in court-ordered education reforms made by legislators this year.

Ken James, director of the Arkansas Department of Education, said the state is moving in the direction it needs to move.

The survey was based on salaries from 2002 to 2003.  It ranked Arkansas' average teacher salary 44th and Arkansas' starting teacher salary 46th among the states.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)