HONOLULU (KHON2) — Teachers have the profound role of shaping young minds and are critical to preparing students for the real world. Unfortunately, many teachers find themselves overworked and underpaid, earning an average of $2,150 less per year compared to 10 years ago when adjusted for inflation.
Teachers are among the lowest-paying occupations requiring a bachelor’s degree, and their salaries consistently fail to keep up with inflation. Still, there are some states where they are more fairly compensated than others. Can you guess where Hawaii ranks on the list?
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In order to help educators find the best opportunities, personal-finance website WalletHub released its report on 2022’s Best & Worst States for Teachers which analyzes 24 key metrics ranging from income growth potential to whether the state has a digital learning plan.
According to WalletHub, New York has the highest average annual salary for public school teachers at $80,286 (adjusted for cost of living), which is 1.7 times higher than Hawaii.
Hawaii ranks last on the list of best states for teachers, making it the worst state in the U.S. It’s the state with the lowest salary at $47,156 on average for public school teachers. The average starting salary for teachers in Hawaii is $33,327, according to WalletHub.
On top of that, teachers have to deal with COVID-19 related issues and the learning loss that comes with it. At the start of this year, more than a thousand Hawaii public school teachers were out. There were also hundreds of unfilled substitute teacher positions.
Staffing shortages have contributed to the learning loss with data showing Hawaii students falling behind in English, math and science. Click here to learn more.
In order to determine the best states for teachers, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key dimensions: “Opportunity & Competition” and “Academic & Work Environment.” The former has heavier weight since competitive salaries and job security are important to a well-balanced personal and professional life.
Best States for Teachers
|Overall Rank||State||Total Score||Opportunity & Competition||Academic & Work Environment|
|49||District of Columbia||35.94||48||42|
Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, National Education Association, National Center for Education Statistics, Council for Community and Economic Research, TeacherPensions.org, ProCon.org, National Council on Teacher Quality, Projections Central – State Occupational Projections, Learning Policy Institute, Education Commission of the States, State Educational Technology Directors Association and WalletHub research.