Without any experience and a bachelor’s degree, a first-year teacher in Fort Worth ISD will make $60,000, which puts the district in sixth place in Tarrant County for first-year teacher pay.

The highest pay for a first-year teacher with a four-year degree in Tarrant County can be found at Castleberry ISD, where the pay is $60,892.

Every year, the United Educators Association compiles teacher salary data for area school districts. The data this year shows north Texas still among the regions with the highest pay for teachers, executive director Steven Poole said, even though he’d like to see it raised more.

“North Texas is one of the highest paying areas in all of Texas, and historically it has been,” Poole said. “We have so many school districts within the geographic region of north Texas that it’s easy for a teacher to work in another school district unlike west Texas where you’d drive a long way to get to another district.”

The high pay of teachers in the area is something Poole said districts are aware of and fight to remain competitive. A hot job market in north Texas for teachers right now, he said, both in pay and in positions open.

The organization has collected this data for the past 29 years. The data serves two purposes: a resource for teachers while job hunting and for school boards and superintendents to use in the budgeting process to ensure they’re competitive, Poole said.

The organization has collected this data for the past 29 years. The data serves two purposes: a resource for teachers while job hunting and for school boards and superintendents to use in the budgeting process to ensure they’re competitive, Poole said.

Typically, when a school board approves a budget, it includes the salary scale for teachers, which usually increases each year of service. The scales are a base salary, not adding stipends, which teachers might get for other responsibilities like coaching.

“A lot of times teachers may not realize exactly where they fall in the rankings,” Poole said in regards to comparing salaries to other districts. “School districts need to be competitive in benefits and salaries and working conditions, this is just another tool for teachers.”

The data is sent to about 90,000 educators and to colleges and universities with education programs so new teachers can also see the data and determine where they want to work, he said.

The data shows over the past two years there’s been an increase in compensation for teachers, Poole said. And not just new teachers either, but also those who have been in the field. 

Pool especially sees this in Castleberry, which is moving up the salary schedule to be in the top five for every category. Arlington and Fort Worth are making similar efforts, he said.

Despite how well the teachers are paid in the area, Poole thinks more can be done, especially considering the high cost of living in north Texas.

“Teachers deserve to be paid more,” he said. “The work they put in and the importance of the work deserves higher pay.”

Additionally, the field needs higher pay because there is a need for more teachers in Texas right now. 

“We’re not seeing the same number of teacher candidates willing to come into the profession we have in years prior,” Poole said. “So we have to remain competitive not only with other districts, but with the private sector too.” 
Kristen Barton is an education reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at kristen.barton@fortworthreport.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Kristen Barton

Kristen Barton is an education reporter for the Fort Worth Report. She has previous experience in education reporting for her hometown paper, the Longview News-Journal and her college paper, The Daily...