Dear Commons Community,
Wyoming is the best state overall for teachers, while North Carolina is the worst, according to a new list from personal finance website Wallethub. Wallethub ranked the best and worst states for teachers using data like average starting teacher salaries and the number of teachers per capita. The site also looked at the average work hours for teachers and the relative safety of different schools. The rationale for compiling this list is described at the Wallethub website:
“Most educators don’t pursue their profession for the money. That’s a no-brainer these days. But that also doesn’t justify low pay, especially for a profession that makes such a profound difference in young people’s lives. And the sad reality is this: Many teachers are shortchanged with salaries that fail to keep up with inflation. Meanwhile, their workloads have grown with heightened demand from the law to elicit better student performance.
It’s no surprise that the high turnover rate within the field has been likened to a revolving door. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about a fifth of all newly minted public school teachers leave their positions before the end of their first year. And almost half never last more than five.
But besides inadequate compensation, other problems persist in the academic environment. Teachers, especially novices, move to other schools or abandon the profession “as the result of feeling overwhelmed, ineffective, and unsupported,” according to the ASCD. And without good teachers who are not only paid reasonably but also treated fairly, the quality of American education suffers.
In light of World Teachers Day on Oct. 5, WalletHub analyzed the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ease the process of finding the best teaching opportunities in the country. We did so by examining 18 key metrics, ranging from median starting salary to teacher job openings per capita. “
The top five states for teachers are: Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Virginia. The worst states are: North Carolina, Mississippi, West Virginia, South Dakota and Hawaii. The complete list and other metrics are available at the Wallethub website.