My PSEA Login



Two-thirds of Pennsylvanians favor raising minimum teacher salary, poll finds

Raising the minimum teacher salary will help Pennsylvania school districts attract and retain the best and brightest to teach in our schools and change the lives of students. Pennsylvanians understand that and support a proposal to raise the minimum teacher salary in Pennsylvania from $18,500 to $45,000 per year.

Two-thirds of likely voters in Pennsylvania favor the minimum salary raise and nearly half of respondents “strongly favor” the measure, according to a poll conducted by Harper Polling for PSEA.

Gov. Tom Wolf proposed raising the minimum teacher salary to $45,000 per year when he rolled out his 2019-20 budget proposal in February. The measure has bipartisan support in the Legislature. The minimum salary was last updated more than 30 years ago in 1988 when it was set at $18,500 per year.

Raising the minimum teacher salary to $45,000 per year would give about 3,200 educators a raise next school year in 216 school districts, intermediate units, and career and technical centers. The governor’s proposal provides $13.8 million through the basic education funding subsidy to fully cover the salary increases as well as associated pension, Social Security, and Medicare costs.

The Harper Poll finds:

  • 66 percent of Pennsylvania voters favor increasing the minimum teacher salary to $45,000 per year;
  • 49 percent “strongly favor” the proposal; and
  • 29 percent oppose it.

Among likely voters in parts of the state directly impacted by the proposal:

  • 63 percent favor increasing the minimum teacher salary to $45,000 per year; and
  • 33 percent oppose it.

“Pennsylvania is experiencing an educator shortage, and low wages are contributing to the problem,” PSEA President Rich Askey said. “Raising the minimum teacher salary will help cash-strapped rural and urban school districts increase salaries for their lowest-paid educators so that they can attract and retain high-quality educators.”

Harper Polling surveyed 600 likely Pennsylvania voters from Feb. 18-21, 2019. The margin of error is +/-3.99 percent.

In state Senate districts that would receive more than $500,000 in state funding (SD 14, 20, 22, 27, 29, 30, 32, 34, 35, and 46), 300 likely voters were surveyed. This sample has a margin of error of +/-5.65 percent.

View the Feb. 21 memo from Harper Polling to learn more.