Governor’s Case on Teacher Pay Has Faulty Comparison

Governor Sam Brownback has stumbled in trying to build a case that teachers in Kansas are paid significantly better on average than teachers in neighboring Missouri.

Brownback told reporters during a Friday news conference that teachers in Kansas are paid an average of nearly $55,000 a year. The figure includes both salary and benefits.

He said teachers in Missouri are paid just under $48,000. That would be 13 percent less.

The governor’s staff said the numbers came from each state’s education department.

But Nancy Bowles, spokeswoman for Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, says Missouri’s figure doesn’t include benefits because local districts don’t report that information to the state.

Without fringe benefits, the Kansas salary total is about $49,700, including extra summertime pay.