Teaching is hard work. Teachers face long hours (with no overtime), growing class sizes, and relatively low pay, compared with other jobs that require similar levels of education and training. But not all states are created equal, when it comes to how easy it is to teach.
In an effort to support educators, and draw attention to the states that need improvement as well as the ones that are doing well, WalletHub recently released their list of the best and worst states for teachers in 2016. They analyzed data obtained across 16 key metrics for 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine their rankings. Let’s take closer look at the states that were determined to be the worst for teachers.
Total Score: 22.22
Job Opportunity and Competition Rank: 51 of 51
Academic and Work Environment Rank: 47 of 51
The state of Hawaii might be a great place to visit, but it could be a pretty difficult place to live and work as a teacher. With a total score of 22.22, it is ranked dead last on this list by quite a lot. Hawaii’s teachers are paid less than any other state, when salaries are adjusted for cost of living, which helped to land them in the last spot for the job opportunity and competition ranking as well as for the entire study.
Total Score: 37.11
Job Opportunity and Competition Rank: 48 of 51
Academic and Work Environment Rank: 36 of 51
West Virginia also offers low salaries to their teachers — they scored 48th out of 51 states for lowest annual salaries (adjusted for cost of living.) West Virginia landed in the third from the bottom slot last year when WalletHub conducted this study. The state would be wise to work toward turning things in a better direction quickly, before the conditions get any worse.
Total Score: 38.27
Job Opportunity and Competition Rank: 43 of 51
Academic and Work Environment Rank: 50 of 51
Arizona’s academic and work environment ranking is a large factor in their overall score. The state came in 50th out of 51 states for per capita spending per student. (Indiana was in the lowest slot.) This likely contributes to the state’s “worst school system rank” of 48 out of 51.
Total Score: 39.86
Job Opportunity and Competition Rank: 41 of 51
Academic and Work Environment Rank: 46 of 51
Oregon’s schools scored relatively low across the board this year. One statistic that stands out is their pupil-to-teacher ratio. They were ranked 48th out of 51 states in this category. Focusing on reducing class size might be a great point of focus for Oregon going forward.
Total Score: 40.57
Job Opportunity and Competition Rank: 44 of 51
Academic and Work Environment Rank: 40 of 51
Mississippi teachers would surely like to see continued improvements to their schools, and to the conditions of their employment. However, it’s worth noting that Mississippi has improved their ranking since this time last year, when they scored as the second worst state for teachers.
For more information, and to see how your state ranked, be sure to check out the full report from WalletHub.
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