According to the National Education Association, about a fifth of all public-school teachers leave their positions within three years. Nearly half last fewer than five. 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, a nonprofit focused on improving the education community.
Teachers in Pennsylvania fare much better, according to a new study released by WalletHub this week. Researchers looked at 23 key indicators of teacher-friendliness in each state and the District of Columbia and ranked the Keystone State 3rd overall as Best State for Teachers, behind New Jersey and North Dakota, and 2nd for Highest Annual Salaries (adjusted for the cost of living), behind only Michigan. Ohio, Massachusetts and Iowa rounded out the top 5 for salaries.
In order to determine the teacher-friendliest states in the U.S., WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key dimensions, “Opportunity & Competition” and “Academic & Work Environment.” Because competitive salaries and job security are integral to a well-balanced personal and professional life, the researchers assigned a heavier weight to the first category. Analyzed data included average starting salaries, average salaries, income growth potential, teacher pensions, pupil-teacher ratio and teacher turnover. Pennsylvania ranked 2nd within the “Opportunity & Competition” overarching category, and 10th for “Academic & Work Environment.”