The Ten States That Pay Teachers The Most (And Why It Doesn’t Matter)

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9. Rhode Island ( C)

> Average Salary 2010/2011: $60,923
> # of Enrolled Students Per Teacher 2010/2011: 13.81 (20th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Math Score 2009: 277.92 (37th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Reading Score 2009: 259.88 (36th)
> Average Daily Attendance as a % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 85% (46th)
> High School Graduation Rate as % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 7% (15th)

Rhode Island was in the headlines last year after officials decided to fire all the teachers and principals at a struggling high school.  The workers were later rehired after agreeing to a new evaluation system.  Officials in Providence recently warned that more teacher layoffs are looming.  In fact, the school board in Providence voted Friday to send out termination notices to the city’s 1,926 public school teachers as the city tries to close a $40 million budget deficit.

8. Alaska  (C-)

> Average Salary 2010/2011: $61,093
> # of Enrolled Students Per Teacher 2010/2011: 14.502 (26th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Math Score 2009: 283.04 (30th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Reading Score 2009: 249.44 (39th)
> Average Daily Attendance as a % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 89.1% (41st)
> High School Graduation Rate as % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 5.93% (38th)

The head of the Alaska teacher’s union recently called for the state to increase spending on education.   Meanwhile, the Anchorage School District is proposing its most extensive cut in years, including layoffs to about 50 staff. Gov. Sean Parnell is undecided about whether to support legislation requiring school attendance from ages 6 to 18 instead of 7 and  16.

7. Illinois ( C)

> Average Salary 2010/2011: $63,005
> # of Enrolled Students Per Teacher 2010/2011: 14.504 (27th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Math Score 2009: 282.43 (32nd)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Reading Score 2009: 264.51 (29th)
> Average Daily Attendance as a % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 94.2% (21st)
> High School Graduation Rate as % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 6.27% (32nd)

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn stressed fiscal restraint during his recent budget message and proposed cuts to education spending, though he is increasing some funding.  Cash-strapped school districts cut teaching and staff positions last year.  Students in Chicago lagged behind their peers in large urban districts in science, according to the Chicago Tribune.

6. Maryland ( B+)

> Average Salary 2010/2011: $65,113
> # of Enrolled Students Per Teacher 2010/2011: 13.7 (17th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Math Score 2009: 288.43 (32nd)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Reading Score 2009: 267.29 (14th)
> Average Daily Attendance as a % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 99.1% (5th)
> High School Graduation Rate as % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 7.26% (9th)

Only 1 in 2o fourth and eighth graders in Baltimore’s public schools was found to be proficient in science, according to the Baltimore Sun. Last year, officials in the Montgomery County district in the ritzy suburbs of Washington, D.C. decided to sell its curriculum to other school systems to help defray costs.  Student-teacher ratios in Prince George’s County are due to widen because of staff cuts.

5. Connecticut ( C+)
> Average Salary 2010/2011: $65,571
> # of Enrolled Students Per Teacher 2010/2011: 13 (10th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Math Score 2009: 288.6 (10th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Reading Score 2009: 271.81 (4th)
> Average Daily Attendance as a % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 101.4% (4th)
> High School Graduation Rate as % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 7.29% (8th)

Governor Daniel Malloy’s proposed budget maintained spending levels for primary and secondary education though colleges and university funding was slashed.   Hartford Superintendent  Steven Adamowski’s plans to overhaul teacher tenure was thwarted by an arbitration panel.  Layoffs loom in the New Haven district.

4. New Jersey ( B-)

> Average Salary 2010/2011: $66,985
> # of Enrolled Students Per Teacher 2010/2011: 11.8 (5th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Math Score 2009: 292.65 (5th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Reading Score 2009: 272.8 (2nd)
> Average Daily Attendance as a % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 104.8% (2nd)
> High School Graduation Rate as % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 7.21% (11th)

Relations between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the New Jersey Education Agency border on the toxic.   “Christie takes aim at your paycheck” is one of the kinder statements on the union’s website. Christie’s recently proposed budget includes a $250 million in additional funding for school, making up for the more than $800 million cut the previous year.