Arizona ranked worst state in the country for teachers

Sep 24, 2019, 10:00 AM

(Getty Images Photo/Ralph Freso)...

(Getty Images Photo/Ralph Freso)

(Getty Images Photo/Ralph Freso)

PHOENIX — Arizona is the worst state in the nation for teachers, says one recent ranking.

WalletHub compared the 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on 23 indicators and found the Grand Canyon State to be dead last.

“Right now, Arizona has the second-lowest annual salaries for teachers. … Only Hawaii right now is doing worse in terms of teacher salary,” Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with the personal finance website, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

“So that’s one of the main points teachers obviously have been upset about for years now. And because of that, Arizona also sees the third-highest projected teacher turnover rate.”

The state also had the highest student-to-teacher ratio, the fifth-lowest amount of public school spending per student and the third-worst school system, based on grades and graduation rates.

“Arizona could really use improvement across the board,” Gonzalez said.

Gov. Doug Ducey told KTAR News’ Mac & Gaydos on Monday that he sees signs of education in the state improving.

“I could show you a survey … where Arizona is leading the country in improvement in math and reading. That’s a testament to our teachers and to our kids,” he said.

He also said his plan to raise teacher salaries 20% by 2020 should help fill more positions and reduce turnover.

The state did not fare well in last year’s ranking, either — it came in second-to-last.

North Dakota, New Jersey and Pennsylvania topped the ranking. Hawaii and New Hampshire joined Arizona to make up the bottom three.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report. 

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Arizona ranked worst state in the country for teachers