Kansas is the ninth best state for teachers, according to research conducted by WalletHub.com, a personal finance website.
Kansas ranked 16th in the average starting salary for teachers; ranked 25th in median annual salary for teachers; 12th in WalletHub’s school system rankings; 27th in projected number of teachers per student by 2022; 11th in unemployment rate of teachers; and third in pupil-to-teacher ratios.
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 nearly half of them never last more than five.
Besides inadequate compensation, other problems persist in the academic environment. Many teachers, especially novices, transfer to other schools or abandon the profession altogether “as the result of feeling overwhelmed, ineffective, and unsupported,” according to ASCD. Without good teachers who are not only paid reasonably but also treated fairly, the quality of American education is bound to suffer.
In order to help ease the process of finding the best teaching opportunities in the U.S. — and draw attention to the states needing improvement — WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 13 key metrics. The data set ranges from the median starting salary to the projected number of teachers per student by year 2022.
Massachusetts earned the top rank, followed by Virginia, Minnesota, Wyoming, New Jersey, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Maryland rounded out the top 10 best states for teachers, one rank behind Kansas.
Missouri was the 24th best state for teachers. West Virginia landed in 51st, or last place.