Study Ranks Arizona 3rd worst state to be a teacher - Tucson News Now

Study Ranks Arizona 3rd worst state to be a teacher

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Many local school districts have given out pay raises thanks to increased funding from Proposition 123.  But that hasn’t stopped a national survey from ranking our state near the bottom as a place to be a school teacher.

Tucson News Now spoke to local educators who said they believe the reason for the low ranking is due to lack of funding for public education in Arizona.  

Wallethub recently compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia, based on sixteen key indicators. The data ranges from topics of “median starting salary” to “student-teacher ratio” to “school safety.”

Of the 50 states and District of Columbia, Arizona ranked 49th  as the worst state to be a teacher, only ahead of West Virginia and Hawaii, while New Jersey and Massachusetts were at the top for best states for teachers.

The study also found that Arizona has one of the highest student-teacher ratios and one of the lowest median annual salaries for teachers. The teachers we talked with said the low salaries and high class sizes are an added challenge for them. 

“We’ve had stories of people going to the food bank, teachers not being able to feed themselves on a starting teacher’s salary, shopping at thrift stores,
not feeding their families within our own district,” Lisa Millerd, Amphi High School Teacher, said.

“It’s very concerning. We don’t have enough computers, enough materials, enough chairs but that is one of the byproducts of lower budgets for schools,” Andy Morales, P.E. and special education teacher at Rio Vista Elementary said.

The study ranked Arizona 21 for school safety with 25 being the average. To read more about the study, click here: https://wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-states-for-teachers/7159

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