Why Do Teachers Get Paid Monthly? Truth Explained!

The frequency of getting paychecks varies from state to state and district to district. Some states have a bi-weekly payment schedule, while others pay monthly. This is because teachers don’t get paid in the summer when the school isn’t in session. So, many teachers choose the monthly payment method so that the annual pay is divided into 12 portions and they get paid every month.

The annual pay here is actually the pay for ten months. So, teachers receive slightly less pay than their monthly payments, but they get paychecks every month. Here is a detailed discussion on why do teachers get paid monthly. Keep reading.

Why Do Teachers Get Paid Monthly
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How Does a Monthly Payment Method Work?

The myth of getting two months of paid time off has already been busted. So, you might want to know how the payment is calculated for a monthly payment schedule. Here is a quick example.

Let a teacher has an annual pay of $60,000. If he/she chooses a biweekly or half-monthly payment option, the total pay will be divided into 26 or 24 portions. So, they will receive about $2,308 to $2,500 in each paycheck.

But if they choose the monthly payment method, the same payment will be divided into 12 portions. And they will receive $5,000 in each paycheck. Even if they don’t teach in the summer, they will continue to receive the amount in June and July.

So, this doesn’t mean teachers are getting paid vacations. Instead, the actual annual pay is getting divided into smaller portions across twelve months.

Read: How to Be a Good Preschool Teacher Assistant

Why Do Teachers Get Paid Monthly?

Teachers usually don’t actively work during the summer. So, many might assume that teachers get paid time off during this period. But the reality is they don’t get paid for the time they don’t actively work. So, they need to earn a living for those months. And this is why teachers choose to get paid monthly.

For example, schools have contracts with teachers to work a specific number of days, say 180 or 190, per year. And that totals up to ten months every year.

Number of Paychecks Per Year

As we have already stated, the payment schedule will depend on the policy of that specific school district or state. In some cases, teachers will receive their payment biweekly. So, there will be a total of 26 paychecks every year.

If teachers choose to get paid twice a month, the number of paychecks will be 24 per year. And for the monthly payment schedule, there will be a total of 12 paychecks.

Problem With Biweekly or Half-Monthly Payments

When teachers choose to get paid once in two weeks or twice a month, there is a two-month period every year when they don’t receive any paycheck. So, having the budget for recurring expenses, such as house rent, transportation, and utilities, is very tough.

As the school session starts in August and continues till May, teachers won’t get paid in June and July. It will be very difficult for them to manage the expenses during these months.

So, Why Do Teachers Get Paid Monthly?

To be precise, teachers choose to get paid monthly to avoid the payment gap in June and July.

Why Is Monthly Payment More Beneficial Than Other Methods?

Most schools have the options to choose a monthly payment schedule. When teachers choose a monthly schedule, their annual pay is divided into twelve portions. As a result, they can receive a paycheck every month, even in June and July.

So, managing recurring expenses becomes much easier for teachers. Even though teachers don’t actively work for the school during the summer, they might take additional courses during this period. And the monthly payment schedule helps them to manage the cost of these additional activities they need to handle.

Managing personal finance also becomes easier when the paycheck has a steady frequency.

What Is the Payment Frequency In Different States?

The payment frequency varies depending on the state and school district. Kristen Schmitz from TeachersPensions.org has conducted a thorough investigation to figure out the payment frequency for teachers in different states. Here will be the key findings from her study. Check them out.

School DistrictStatePayment Frequency
The City School DistrictNew YorkTwice a month. No specific days, but it could be on the 15th and 30th or 31st.
Los Angeles Unified School DistrictCaliforniaTwice a month. No specific days.
City of Chicago School DistrictIllinoisBi-weekly on a 10 or 12 month schedule.
Miami-Dade County Public SchoolsFloridaBi-weekly on a 10 or 12 month schedule. But there are options to distribute the salary over 12 months.
Clark County School DistrictNevadaTwice a month on a 12-month schedule.
Broward County Public SchoolsFloridaBi-weekly on a 10-month schedule. Monthly payment schedule is also available.
Houston Independent School DistrictTexasBi-weekly on a 12-month schedule.
Fairfax Country Public SchoolsVirginiaMonthly payment on an 11-month schedule.
Hawaii State Department of EducationHawaiiTwice a month on a 12-month schedule.
Gwinnett County Public SchoolsGeorgiaMonthly payment on a 12-month schedule.
Wake Country Public School SystemNorth CarolinaMonthly payment on a 10-month plan.
 The School District of PhiladelphiaPennsylvaniaBi-weekly payment on a 12-month schedule.

Read: Differences Between Intervention Teachers Vs Classroom Teachers

What Is the Average Annual Pay for Teachers?

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for secondary school teachers is $69,530. But this isn’t the same for all teachers. And teachers for special and career/technical education are excluded from these statistics.

If you check the source above, you will find that the bottom 10% gets an annual average pay of $46,090. But the top 10% of teachers get $100,310 per year.

The annual pay also depends on the employment concentration and geography. For example, California is the top-paying state, whereas Connecticut pays the lowest annual mean wage.

And the pay in metropolitan areas is higher than that in nonmetropolitan areas.


Here are answers to some commonly asked questions. Take a look.

Q: Does choosing a monthly payment give more than a bi-weekly payment?

A: No, the pay doesn’t increase if teachers choose a monthly payment schedule. The payment is just divided into monthly portions instead of getting bi-weekly.

Q: What benefits do teachers get?

A: Besides compensation, teachers are entitled to state-sponsored retirement benefits. Plus, they get health and dental insurance. And some schools might offer paid time-offs.


As teachers don’t get paid for the time they don’t actively teach, many school districts have the options to choose a monthly payment schedule. In this method, the total annual pay is divided into twelve months, and teachers receive a paycheck every month.

So, this becomes helpful for them to manage recurring expenses throughout the months they don’t actively work. Even if they don’t choose a monthly payment option, the biweekly payment schedule can also work. In this method, they will receive 26 paychecks over the course of twelve months, which helps them remain stress-free in the summer.

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