Why the Low Cost of Living in Oklahoma Does Not Stop the Great Teacher Migration

I have been doing some checking about cost of living differences for different locations. It is not just academic interest. It has to do with the argument that teachers in Oklahoma can do with less money because the cost of living is so much less here.

My fact check on the cost of living vs teacher pay argument is: 100% bad statistics.

Or ——–>100% BS if you abbreviate.

I like this calculator link because it allows more small cities. Some just deal with major urban areas in each state.

You can check all the locations you want.

I used Broken Arrow for home base. I don’t live there but I taught there for 18 years and it seems typical. I used $50,000 because that was the default search. No other reason.

The question was: How much better would the teacher salary have to be to justify moving? I tried a couple of Oklahoma locations just to make the point that cost of living varies within states. I know people working in areas of Texas I checked.

BA – $50,000 per year
Jenks – $53,105
Edmond – $54,015
Ft Worth, Texas – $52,302 (Ahem)
Sherman, Texas – $44,111 (Ahem Ahem) Just across the border.
Mesquite, Texas – $50,000 (The same! Wow.)
Amarillo, Texas – $44,593

I don’t know anyone in Richardson, Texas. But I was looking for a place with a higher cost of living. Richardson qualifies.

Richardson, Texas – $60,921 – So if you move here, commute from some place cheaper. However, the beginning teacher salary in Richardson Texas, according to their website, is $51,000. Richardson also has some lovely paid benefits that are not found everywhere in Texas:

  1. Medical Insurance
  2. Dental Insurance
  3. Flexible Spending Accounts
  4. Life & Disability Insurance
  5. Long Term Care
  6. Employee Assistance Program
  7. Retirement Investment Plans

Seems to be a good deal for teachers that make the move from Oklahoma.

You can use the calculator linked below to check my work or to compare your city with others. Please don’t take my word for it. Ah.. The Richardson, TX web page is risd.org

I didn’t EVEN check Arkansas or Kansas.  Feel free to check there as well.

Wouldn’t you agree that this pretty much puts the lie to the “cost of living is lower in Oklahoma” argument?


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