ICYMI: Texas AFT releases updated ‘Lost Decade (and a Half)’ report on stagnant educator salaries


June 5, 2024

CONTACT: press@texasaft.org

ICYMI: Texas AFT releases updated ‘Lost Decade (and a Half)’ report on stagnant educator salaries

Inflation-adjusted Texas educator salaries show a 9% drop over the last 15 years.

AUSTIN, Texas — As bad as the teacher salary situation was in 2022 when Texas AFT first released its Lost Decade report with think-tank Every Texan, it’s now far worse. Texas AFT’s updated report, The Lost Decade (and a Half), shows that, when adjusted for inflation, the average salary for Texas public school teachers has fallen over 9% since the 2009-2010 school year. The update reflects a growing crisis in Texas schools that has come to a head as districts announce layoffs, school closures, and cuts to extracurricular programs to make up the difference.

Texas AFT President Zeph Capo issued the following statement:

“Across the state in districts big and small, Texas public schools are making sacrifices to stay afloat in the face of extreme budget shortfalls. Texas students are forced to say goodbye to their favorite educators and school staff, including teachers, librarians, custodians, and principals. These are the familiar faces that our kids grow to love, and they share responsibility for students’ academic and personal success in ways both visible and unsung.

“Our updated report stresses the risk Gov. Greg Abbott is taking every day he chooses not to release funds already budgeted for school funding increases. For some reason, the governor would rather throw a temper tantrum about private school vouchers than address the funding crisis in our neighborhood schools. Only Abbott can stop the bleeding in Texas public schools, and he bears full responsibility for every tearful goodbye, every arts program cut, and every school shuttered if he doesn’t.”

Key takeaways from the updated report include:

  • In the original 2022 report, Texas AFT and Every Texan analysis found that wages had fallen by an average of 4% since the 2009-2010 school year. A mere two years later, that average loss in inflation-adjusted wages has grown to 9%.
  • Texas teachers now make approximately $9,000 less on average than their peers nationwide. Even when adjusting for differences in the cost of living, Texas ranks 30th in the country for teacher pay and in the bottom 10 nationwide for per-student funding.
  • Salaries for school support staff have seen modest gains since the publication of the original report, but many roles remain close to poverty wages. Stagnant pay and inflation over the last few years have eroded gains in base pay over the last 12 years.
  • Teacher turnover has been steadily increasing over the last 14 years, and a Spring 2024 AFT member survey found that salary was the top workplace concern for 45% of respondents, up from 34% in 2021.

Click here to read the full update, including a district-level breakdowns of educator salaries from 2009 to present.


The Texas American Federation of Teachers represents 66,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, support personnel, and higher-education employees across the state. Texas AFT is affiliated with the 1.7-million-member American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO.