Enrichment Education

Here are the best places in America for teachers

Lack of respect from the public for their profession, limited resources, and low pay are three of the biggest challenges teachers face today, according to a new report.
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Story at a glance


  • WalletHub compared all 50 states and Washington, D.C., along 24 metrics regarding opportunity, competition and academic and work environment to determine the most teacher friendly places in the U.S. 

  • New York holds the top spot.

  • The Empire State ranked highest in teacher salaries and public-school spending per student.

New York is the best place in America to be a teacher, according to a new report published Monday.  

The report from the personal finance website WalletHub compared all 50 states and Washington, D.C., along 24 metrics around opportunity, competition and academic and work environment. The publication factored in salaries, projected teacher turnover and public-school spending per student to determine the most teacher friendly places in the U.S.  

New York held the No. 1 position partly due to its high rankings in teacher salaries and public-school spending per student — achieving No. 1 in each category.  

Utah, which carried the second highest ranking in the opportunity category, held the second spot overall behind New York. Virginia, Vermont and Washington rounded out the top five. 

New Mexico, Arizona, Washington, D.C., New Hampshire and Hawaii, are the worst places in America for teachers, according to the report. Hawaii ranked 49th and 44th, respectively, in the opportunity and competition and academic and work environment categories. 

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Lack of respect from the public for their profession, limited resources and low pay are three of the biggest challenges teachers face today, experts told WalletHub. But local leaders can work to create an environment where teachers want to work. 

“Leaders in the community and schools must work to create an environment of respect for teachers and support for their work,” said Rene S. Parmar, Dean of the School of Education at Lehman College within the City University of New York. 

“Salary is important as well, but we see teachers leaving high-paying districts when the working conditions are not supportive or safe,” Parmar added. 

The average starting salary for a teacher during the 2020-21 school year was $41,770, according to data from the National Education Association.