ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona ranked as one of the worst states in the country for teachers

Sep 24, 2021, 4:25 AM
Arizona teachers chant in support of the #REDforED movement in front of the State Capitol on April ...
Arizona teachers chant in support of the #REDforED movement in front of the State Capitol on April 26, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.(File photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
(File photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — A personal finance website ranked Arizona as one of the worst states in the country for teachers, citing a high student-to-teacher ratio and educator turnover.

WalletHub compared the 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on 24 indicators and ranked Arizona No. 48, continuing a trend that has been going on for years.

“Arizona typically ranks in the bottom-five for teachers, and I don’t think that’s a surprise here,” Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Arizona ranked as the worst state for teachers last year and was second-to-last in 2019.

Gonzalez said the indicators are purely from a teacher standpoint, especially those entering the job market.

The Grand Canyon State has the highest student-to-teacher ratio with typically around 26 pupils for every one teacher, according to Gonzalez, more than neighboring California and Nevada.

Arizona also has the third-worst school system, based on academics and funding, as well as the third-highest teacher turnover rate, according to Gonzalez.

“We know the teacher turnover rate in Arizona has been high for years now because of a lot of these issues,” Gonzalez said.

She did say the state is OK in teacher salary when adjusted for cost of living, but that could be better considering class sizes and how much the work environment needs improving.

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

“Hopefully next year we see some kind of improvement.”

New Hampshire, Washington, D.C., and Maine are ranked lower than Arizona.

New York, Utah and Washington are considered by the ranking to be the best states in the country for teachers.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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Arizona ranked as one of the worst states in the country for teachers