The average teacher in Kansas made a salary of $47,464 during the 2012-2013 school year, far less than the national average, and less than their counterparts in almost any other state.
That's according to the latest estimates from the National Center for Educational Statistics, which ranked Kansas 42nd among the 50 states and the District of Columbia for average teacher pay.
The report also shows Kansas has been slipping in relation to other states for at least the past few years. It was 41st in the previous school year, and 39th in the 2009-10 school year.
That can be the result of several factors, including the size of annual pay increases as well as the number of new teachers in the pool, since new teachers tend to make less than their more veteran colleagues.
Kansas ranked slightly behind Missouri, which posted an average salary of $47,517. The nine states ranking below Kansas were: North Dakota, Florida, Arkansas, New Mexico, West Virginia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Mississippi and, bottoming out the list, South Dakota, at $39,580.
The figures are based on a survey by the National Education Association and do not include the cost of fringe benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off and other benefits, many of which are difficult to quantify and categorize.
In the Lawrence school district, the average base salary for a teacher last year was $46,064, district officials said. Total compensation, including benefits, was $55,564.