Teachers play an important role in our every day lives whether it’s how they influenced us to be who we are today or shaping the minds of the next generation.
However, the Aloha state isn’t receiving much aloha for our educators.
According to a new study by WalletHub published Monday, Hawaii ranked as the worst teacher-friendly state in the nation.
Hawaii also comes in as the state with the lowest annual salary based on cost of living.
The Hawaii State Teachers Association agrees.
“Our schools are not funded. Our teachers are the worst paid in the nation, and that means about a third of our students every day go to school and they don’t have a qualified teacher in the classroom,” said HSTA president Corey Rosenlee. “We’ve seen since 2010 the amount of teachers leaving to teach in the mainland has gone up by 84 percent. We had 19 openings for special education teachers in Nanakuli, Waianae area, and we could only hire one teacher this year.”
The Hawaii State Department of Education responded with the following statement:
“The Hawaii State Department of Education is dedicated to engaging our Hawaii community around the need for competitive teacher and educator wages. To ensure that our conversation is embedded in meaningful local economic data, we initiated a discussion with a national organization to provide comparative data and policy considerations that we can use to engage our Board of Education, legislators, unions, businesses and community members. The first part of this review will be completed within approximately three weeks, and the more in-depth study will be available in the spring.”
Wallethub determined their findings in the “2018’s Best and Worst State’s for Teachers” study by comparing all 50 states and the District of Columbia on two categories. Those categories include, “opportunity and competition” and “academic and work environment.”
New York ranked as the best state for teachers and rounding out the top five were Connecticut, Minnesota, Illinois and North Dakota.
WalletHub says with the combination of job pressure, low pay and lack of mobility, many teachers quit soon after they start.
The National Center for Education statistics also says about a fifth of all public-school teachers leave their positions before the end of their first year.