DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado public school teachers are among the nation’s lowest-paid when they start their careers.

The nation’s largest public school teacher union, the National Education Association, released figures on Tuesday detailing how teacher salaries have fallen behind inflation this year. In real dollar terms, the nation’s average school teacher salary has shrank 3.9% over the last decade.

In Colorado, the average teacher made $58,183 in 2021 — about $7,000 less than the national average.

Starting teachers in the Centennial State have a harder time.

With an average salary of $35,724 for starting teachers, Colorado ranks 49th among U.S. states and Washington, D.C. for starting pay. Nationally, starting teachers make $44,349.