A full appreciation of teacher compensation needs to consider the benefits provided to teachers. The most significant benefits are health insurance and retirement which compare well to the benefits available to most American workers.

Health insurance

School districts tend to be more generous than private companies when it comes to covering health insurance premiums for teachers. Over half of the school districts tracked by NCTQ cover 100 percent of the teacher’s premium and many districts cover all or most of their dependents’ health insurance premiums.

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While relatively generous, most teacher pension systems are in financial peril and too restrictive, disqualifying an estimated 55% of teachers from the benefit. State pension plans need to be fiscally sustainable and give teachers choices about the kind of pension that’s right for them. They shouldn’t be too complicated or give preferences to some teachers over others, nor should they require an actuary to translate the intricacies. Learn more in our report, Lifting the Pension Fog.

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On average, districts provide teachers with 13 days of leave for illness and other personal reasons. That average masks a big range. Some districts provide as many as 25 days and others as few as 7 days.

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