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BIA EDUCATION RESEARCH BULLETIN, YEAR 1973

TEACHERS SALARIES IN BIA SCHOOLS COMPARED TO SALARIES OF TEACHERS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS ATTENDED BY INDIAN CHILDREN (School Year 1970-1971)

Otis J. Morgans

In February 1972 the Director of Education Programs asked for recent data concerning salaries of teachers in public schools attended by Indian Children as compared to salaries of teachers in Bureau operated schools. These data were in preparation for Senate and House hearings then scheduled for February 24 and February 29 respectively. Time did not permit a comprehensive study to include salary ranges, entrance salaries, maximum salaries, step differentials and number of steps.

Information available at that time concerning public school salaries was obtained from the Research Division, National Education Association, Washington, D.C. It pertained only to average salaries during the 1970-1971 school year in the 17 states where Indian children attended public schools and where the Bureau also operated schools.

Information concerning BIA teacher salaries was obtained by a QWICK QUERY RUN at the Indian Affairs Data Center (LADC) in Albuquerque as of the end of May, 1971. It was for the 1710 occupation series and excluded salaries of supervisors and administrators, in order to make the results comparable to public school teacher salaries.

The following table gives the data for the average salaries of public school teachers as noted above.

Table 1
AVERAGE SALARIES OF TEACHERS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN
STATES WHERE INDIAN CHILDREN ATTEND BOTH PUBLIC
SCHOOLS AND BUREAU SCHOOLS FOR 1970-1971 SCHOOL YEAR

State Mean Salary
1. Alaska
$13,570
2. Arizona
$9,285
3. California
$10,500
4. Colorado*
$8,260
5. Florida
$8,805
6. Kansas
$8,034
7. Louisiana
$8,340
8. Mississippi
$6,008
9. Montana
$8,173
10. Nevada
$9,551
11. New Mexico
$8,214
12. North Carolina
$8,168
13. North Dakota
$7,060
14. Oklahoma
$7,360
15. Oregon
$9,298
16. South Dakota
$7,892
17. Utah
$8,076

*Only BIA dormitories are currently operated in Colorado.

The average salary range in these 17 states was from $6,008 in Mississippi to $13,570 in Alaska, while the average salary was $8617.35.

There was no salary breakdown by states in the BIA school report. The salary range in BIA schools in the 17 states was from $5,524 to $11,695, while the average salary was $11,400.

It should be noted that the public school salaries are usually for 9 months, or 10 months, if a 2 weeks preschool orientation and a 2 weeks postschool records keeping period are counted. Salaries for BIA teachers are for 12 months and carry annual fringe benefits for 30 work days for educational leave, 30 work days for sick leave (accumulative from year to year), and annual leave of: 13 days through 3 years of service, 20 days above 3 and through 15 years of service, and 26 days above 15 years of service.

There have been two additional salary raises given to BIA teachers since May of 1971. The present salary range for BIA teachers is noted below.

Amount of Grade From To Step Increment*
GS-5
7,694
10,007 $257
GS-7
9,520
12,373 317
GS-9
11,614
15,097 387
GS-11
13,996
18,190 466

*There are ten steps in each grade of the BIA salary scale and they run as follows:

Length: 1 year 2 years 3 years  
Steps: 1 2 3 | 4 5 6 | 7 8 9 | 10

(Editor’s Note: The last table means that for the first three years of work there was an annual “Step Increase” in salary. Steps 4, 5, and 6 were given every two years and steps 7, 8, and 9 every three years. Once an employee reached step 10 their salary was plateaued.)


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Last modified March 12, 2008