SEATTLE — Pay for starting teachers in Washington state’s three largest cities rank in the bottom 10 in a survey of the nation’s 100 largest cities.
Tacoma was ranked 91st, Seattle 92nd and Spokane 95th in the ratings based on Defense Department data from 1998-99 and compiled by the American Federation of Teachers.
Among the cities with higher pay in the survey were Baton Rouge, La., Oklahoma City and Omaha, Neb. The only cities where beginning teachers received less than in Spokane were Des Moines, Iowa; Tulsa, Okla.; Tucson, Ariz.; Little Rock, Ark., and Lincoln, Neb.
Under an AFT analysis in which pay was adjusted to reflect the local cost of living, Spokane and Tacoma moved out of the bottom 10 but Seattle ranked 93rd with a minimum teacher salary of $23,017.
Seattle’s top salary for a teacher with a master’s degree was $36,957, 95th, and its cost-of-living-adjusted top salary of $34,475 ranked 94th. Maximum salary figures don’t include increases which teachers receive for longevity.
Washington Education Association leaders are expected to ask members at a meeting this week whether to seek a housing allowance for teachers in urban areas.
In San Francisco, ranked last among the 100 cities in adjusted maximum salary, school officials plan to build affordable apartments with help from federal housing programs. Baltimore offers housing bonuses for new teachers.
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