Teachers often feel overworked and underpaid. But local educators may be happy to learn one research firm has determined New York to be the best state for teachers.
According to WalletHub, New York came in first place in a national ranking based on 21 key metrics, including average annual salary, pupil-teacher ratio and public school spending per student. States were analyzed based on two larger categories: "Opportunity and competition" and "Academic and work environment."
When it comes to salaries, WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez says New York schools have done well in keeping up with the times.
"The average starting salaries are higher than a lot of other states, the annual salary is also set higher as well. We have seen a pretty dramatic change in teacher salary over the last 10 years. I think that’s where most states are really struggling, kind of keeping up with inflation, and cost of living expenses and obviously compensating teachers appropriately,” Gonzalez said.
New York ranked in the top 10 of states in the categories of average annual salary, income growth potential, and public school spending per student. Gonzalez says if teachers can make it through the often-difficult beginning to their careers, there is strong income growth potential in New York down the road.
“Right now about a fifth of all newly minted public school teachers actually leave their position before the end of their first year, and about a half don’t make it to their fifth year,” she said.
New Jersey came in second in the overall ranking and Illinois third. WalletHub says the best school systems can be found in Massachusetts and teachers in Michigan earn the highest annual salaries.
Arizona was ranked the overall worst state for teachers.