Report: Pay for Israeli Teachers Improving

View of the Education Ministry Offices in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli teachers are better paid than they used to be, but not as well as they should be, a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says. Compared to teachers in the U.S., Spain, and other OECD countries, salaries for Israeli teachers are low, but salaries have been getting better: The study shows that salaries for Israeli teachers improved more than in almost all OECD countries over the past five years.

In real terms, an Israeli teacher with 15 years of experience earned $29,718 in 2015, compared to the average $42,864 salary for teachers in OECD countries.

With that, teachers in Israel generally earn more on an hourly basis than do teachers in other OECD countries. Kindergarten teachers earn $30.10 per hour in Israel, compared to $24.40 on average in other OECD countries. For junior high-school teachers, average salaries in Israel are $27.80 vs.the $27.30 OECD average. In high schools, the OECD average of $28.80 is slightly higher than the $27.30 Israeli average. Israeli teachers are also younger than most. Fifty percent of Israeli teachers are aged 39 and under, compared to 40 percent in OECD countries.

There has also been improvement in class size and density in recent years, the study shows. The average classroom in an Israeli school has 26.8 students, compared to 21.1 in OECD countries. Israeli officials said, however, that those figures relate to 2015; there was significant improvement in class size this year, after new rules on the matter went into effect. According to those rules, the maximum class size is now 34, as opposed to 40 under the previous rules.

Israel spends more than many countries do on education. On average, the budget in OECD countries for education is 5.8 percent of each country’s gross national product, compared to 6.6 percent in Israel. However, the amount spent per student in Israel is less than the OECD average; Israel spent $7,800 on each student in 2015, compared to $10,800 in OECD countries.