The average US school term has not changed in the last 50 years, but there has been an increase in teachers' responsibilities. For example, teachers have to find new ways to include children with disabilities in their classrooms. Teaching still remains mostly a "job for women" and annual salaries are dropping.
TEACHERS' SALARY INFORMATION
In the 1970-71 scholastic year, the average annual salary of instructional staff in the US was $9,698 (which is $63,537.40 in 2019 dollars). In 1990-91, the average annual salary of instructional staff was $34,401 ($66,907.44 in 2019 dollars). In 2017, the average annual salary was $59,660 ($61,870.48 in 2019 dollars). Between the years 1992 and 2014, there was a 2% decline in the average teachers' salary.
SCHOOL TERM LENGTH
The average school term in the US in 1971-1972 was 179.3 days. This crept up to 179.8 days by 1990-91 and up to only 180 days by the 2007-08 school year.
NUMBER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY TEACHERS IN THE US
There were around 1,130,000 elementary classroom teachers as of the 1970-1971 school year. Meanwhile, there were 929,000 secondary school teachers. By the 1990-91 school year, there were 1,326,000 elementary school teachers and 972,000 secondary school teachers.
FEMALE TO MALE TEACHERS RATIO
There were about 676,000 male classroom teachers in 1970-1971, contrasted with 1,383,000 female schoolteachers, meaning that men made up only 32.8 percent of classroom teachers. In 1990-91 there were 719,000 male classroom teachers to 1,840,000 women, meaning that the percentage had dropped to 28.1 percent. By the 2015-16 scholastic year, the percentage had dropped to 23.4 percent, with 897,000 male teachers and 2,930,000 female teachers.
There were 1,100,155 teachers in the National Education Association (NEA) in 1970. The same year, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) had about 188,000 members. In 1991, the NEA had 2,109,866 teachers members and the AFT had around 459,000. By 2017, the NEA had over 3 million members and the AFT had 1.7 million.
The Education for All Handicapped Children Act was enacted in 1975. This was built upon by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1990. In the 1990s most children with disabilities went to special schools. By 2016 there were 5,937,838 children with disabilities in public schools being served under the IDEA.
STUDENT TEACHER RATIO
The average student to teacher ration in the United States was 14.02 to 1 in 1984. It jumped to 16.17 to 1 by 1995, but dropped to 14.46 to 1 by 2015.
Teacher face expanding responsibilities and a declining wage. While the IDEA and other inclusive regulations have been good for children and the education system as a whole, teachers have not received commensurate increases in salary support. The gender gap is increasing and no comprehensive initiative is in place to address the widening disparity.