South Carolina ended up near the bottom of WalletHub’s “2018 Best and Worst States for Teachers” rankings, which was released Monday.
South Carolina ranked 45th out of 51 states — to include the District of Columbia — in the overall list, which compared highest and lowest annual salaries, teacher turnover, projected competition, student-teacher ratio, public school spending per pupil, and overall school systems.
South Carolina ranked 37th in “Opportunity and Competition” and 49th in “Academic and Work Environment.”
Burke Royster, superintendent of Greenville County Schools, said in a statement the list is not indicative of Greenville.
“It is sad to think that a state with as much to offer as South Carolina could be among the worst states in which to work as teacher,” Royster said in the statement. “Over the last several years, Greenville County Schools has made many strategic decisions to improve teacher experiences in our district. For example, we rank above the southeastern average and near the top of the state in teacher salaries, we have smaller class sizes than required by the state, we have clean and well-maintained buildings, we provide many diverse professional development opportunities free of charge, and we assign veteran educators to serve as mentors to all new teachers in our district.”
“Nonetheless, we believe it is essential to the future of our communities that the salaries for public education teachers be increased. It is particularly important that we have a highly qualified teacher workforce so we can provide a level of education that ensures the continued economic vitality of our community.”
The “Opportunity and Competition” ranking looks at factors such as salaries, income growth potential, pensions, uncertified teachers, and enrollment growth.
The “Academic and Work Environment” ranking considers factors such as student-teacher ratio, dollars per pupil, teacher turnover, and teacher unions.
States that fared worse than South Carolina in the overall list were Mississippi (ranked 46th), Florida (47th), Louisiana (48th), North Carolina (49th), Arizona (50th), and Hawaii (51st).
The best states for teachers, according to the list, are New York (ranked 1), Connecticut, Minnesota, Illinois, and North Dakota.
WalletHub is a financial planning website owned by Evolution Finance, Inc. in DC.
For the complete list, visit WalletHub’s website.