Reforming Missouri's Minimum Teacher Salary

Anita Manion, University of Missouri-St. Louis


Missouri is home to one of the lowest starting and average teacher salaries in the country. In response, Governor Mike Parson’s proposed 2023 budget called for the state to increase the minimum starting teacher salary from $25,000 to $38,000. In addition, the State Board of Education included increasing the minimum teacher salary to $35,000 as one of its legislative priorities. This brief examines these proposals, finding: Under the Governor’s proposal, 93% of the state’s traditional and charter public school districts would be required to raise the salary of at least one teacher. On average, districts with teachers earning less than $38,000 would need their salaries to increase by $3,472. However, only 14.3% of teachers statewide would experience a salary increase.To meet the $38,000 minimum, we estimate the total cost of increased salary and benefits to be approximately $42.5 million annually.Meeting the $35,000 minimum would increase the salaries of only 7% of teachers statewide and would cost approximately $15.7 million annually