Hawaii’s average public school teacher salary in 2017-18 was $57,866, a 2% increase from the year before that ranks its pay 18th highest among the states, but falls below the U.S. average, according to a new analysis released by the National Education Association.

The average U.S. public school teacher salary in 2017-18 was $60,477. Most states’ average teacher salaries fall well below that, but due to the upper range of figures, the average U.S. teacher salary is pushed up.

The states with the highest average teacher salaries in 2017-18 were New York ($84,227), California ($80,680) and Massachusetts ($80,357) while states with the lowest teacher salaries were Mississippi ($44,926), West Virginia ($45,642) and Oklahoma ($46,300), according to the NEA report.

9th graders in Mililani High School's, Mrs. Amy Perruso social studies class write comments and observations on 2 cartoons of King David Kalakaua in the late 1800s.
Hawaii’s single-district public school system counts 179,000 students and roughly 13,000 instructional staff. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

As this EdWeek post points out, these salaries can’t be considered in a vacuum due to the widely varying costs of living in each place. The expense of living in Hawaii, for instance, pushes its average teacher salary way down when adjusted for cost of living.

One area in which Hawaii edged ahead of the U.S. average is per-pupil expenditure: it spent $14,617 per pupil in 2017-18 compared with the U.S. average of $12,602. Hawaii was ranked 15th in the country in this regard.

New York and the District of Columbia had the highest per pupil expenditures at $23,894 and $21,001, respectively, with Idaho and Utah ranking the lowest, at a respective $6,809 and $7,187.

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