How Alabama Teacher Salaries Compare To Other Southeastern States

During her 2023 State of the State Address, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) pledged that teacher salaries would be the highest in the Southeast by the end of her second full term. Specifically, she said that her fiscal year 2024 budget will provide a 2% raise to all of the state’s teachers.

According to data from the Alabama State Department of Education, as of the 2020-2021 school year, there were approximately 46,123 classroom teachers in the state. When combined with administrators, support personnel, and non-classroom teachers, that total rose to 53,130. 

It is possible that Gov. Ivey’s efforts to increase teacher pay are part of a movement nationwide to deal with a teacher shortage. Both the state and federal government are seeking solutions to combat the problem with funding; most are proposing increased starting and general salaries in an attempt to attract and retain more people in the teaching profession. 

While having qualified teachers is clearly a necessity for public education, policy makers should consider if higher education system salaries equate to better academic achievement for students. Secondarily,  policy makers should also consider the impact of increasing salaries on Alabama’s state Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget.