Brownback misquotes Kansas teachers salary, saying Missouri teachers make less

TOPEKA (KSNT) — The Brownback administration has some explaining to do when it comes to Kansas teachers’ salaries.

Last Friday the governor held a press conference, and stated that Kansas teachers make $7,000 more than teachers in Missouri.

The Brownback administration calls the governor’s statement Friday an ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison. Others however say it’s not.

“$54,907, that is the average teacher salary in the state of Kansas,” Governor Sam Brownback said at a press conference Friday afternoon. “On average Kansas school teachers make $7,000 more per year than do there Missouri counterparts.”

That figure is what started questions. Where did he get those numbers from?

“We show the average salary, summer school, supplemental salaries, fringe benefits then we total that up and it totaled to $54, 907,” Dale Dennis, the Deputy Commissioner of the Kansas State Department of Education said.

A spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Nancy Bowles tells KSNT News, Missouri does not require districts to report the cost of teachers’ benefits. Only their take home.

For the most recent school year, the average Missouri teacher earned $48,483. In Kansas, looking at salaries only, teachers earned $47,550. That’s $7,000 less than the governor stated Friday.

The Kansas Association of School Boards tell KSNT News that $47,000 number is the accurate one, and has been pretty static for the past two years.

“It comes down to Kansas and Missouri salaries were only a couple of hundred dollars off for the past couple year,” says Ted Carter with the Kansas Association of School Boards.

Additionally, Missouri does include summertime pay where Kansas considers that a fringe benefit. But even if you include summer pay the average Kansas teacher salary is still under $50,000.

Again, less than the governor’s number.

Click on this link to see the numbers for Kansas and Missouri http://kasb.org/wcm/_NB/15/NB0727d.aspx

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