This summer, Kansas saw a huge number of open teacher positions and teachers leaving the state to work elsewhere.
Now, a new study shows filling those vacant spots could be a long-term struggle for Kansas.
The Kansas Association of School Boards released a report comparing teacher salaries, education and experience. The report found Kansas teachers are consistently paid less than the national average- and isn’t keeping up with the cost of living.
In 2012, the base salary for Kansas teachers was just over $38,000. That was pretty close to adjacent states but still lower than the national average of $46,000.
This year, hundreds of teachers were leaving the state to work elsewhere-many crossing the state line to work in Missouri.
The problem isn’t a new one.
The report also shows in 2012, Kansas had a higher percentage of new teachers than the national average. The state had fewer teachers with at least 3 to 9 years of experience, but more teachers with over 20 years of experience.
Those numbers mean the state has trouble retaining teachers-and that the shortage could get worse as more teachers hit retirement.
Earlier this month, Governor Sam Brownback said he was considering merit pay for teachers-tying more money to student improvement. An idea the Kansas Teacher’s Union was strongly against.
Lawmakers are back in session in January.