Morgan Sweeney | September 20, 2023
(The Center Square) — Virginia is 2023’s best state for teachers, according to a study conducted by personal finance website WalletHub.
WalletHub ranked states by 24 weighted metrics in two major categories: Opportunity and competition and academic and work environment. Virginia placed first for the former and eleventh for the latter, but opportunity and competition was weighted more than twice as heavily as academic and work environment because “competitive salaries and job security are integral to a well-balanced personal and professional life,” according to the study.
The opportunity and competition category ranked states based on salary, pension and tenure factors, and “teacher preparation program completion.” Though the study does not show states’ scores or placement for all 24 metrics, the findings reflect that Virginia did very well regarding “teachers’ income growth potential” and “teacher tenure protections.”
Virginia did not score in the top five for “annual salaries,” “projected competition (i.e. fewest and most teachers per student in year 2030),” “pupil-teacher ratio,” or “public school spending per student.” Though likely, it will continue to increase its spending per student in the near future if this year and last were any indication.
The commonwealth placed fifth for “school systems” and 45th for “projected teachers turnover.”
Following Virginia in overall ranking were New York, Utah, Washington and Florida. The worst states for teachers, according to the study, were Missouri, Vermont, Maine, Hawaii, the District of Columbia and New Hampshire.