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

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3. California ( C)

> Average Salary 2010/2011: $69,434
> # of Enrolled Students Per Teacher 2010/2011: 21 (49th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Math Score 2009: 270.44 (46th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Reading Score 2009: 252.63 (49th)
> Average Daily Attendance as a % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 97.5% (6th)
> High School Graduation Rate as % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 6.35% (31st)

The Sacramento Bee summed up the dire situation this way:  “More than 20,000 public school teachers in California have received pink slips during each of the last three years. The state’s ongoing economic and budget troubles mean that trend is likely to continue with upcoming March 15 layoff notices.” Teacher layoffs loom in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.

2. Massachusetts ( B-)

> Average Salary 2010/2011: $71,017
> # of Enrolled Students Per Teacher 2010/2011: 13.58 (15th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Math Score 2009: 298.85 (1st)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Reading Score 2009: 273.58 (1st)
> Average Daily Attendance as a % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 94.4% (19th)
> High School Graduation Rate as % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 6.68% (20th)

Four-year graduation rates in the state’s public schools rose in 2010 for the fourth year in a row.  Officials at the North Middlesex Regional School Committee are considering substantial job cuts.  The Boston public schools want to close a $63 million shortfall by cutting about 250 positions, the Boston Globe says.

1. New York (B)

> Average Salary 2010/2011: $72,708
> # of Enrolled Students Per Teacher 2010/2011: 11.8 (4th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Math Score 2009: 282.57 (31st)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Reading Score 2009: 264.28 (31st)
> Average Daily Attendance as a % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 116.8% (1st)
> High School Graduation Rate as % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 6.86% (18th)

Officials in New York City are investigating allegations that some city schools were manipulating test scores.  Fourth and eighth graders in New York schools scored below national and state science exams.  Governor Andrew Cuomo is reportedly interested in changing state law to allow merit to be considered in determining teacher layoffs.

Worst Paid

10. Kansas ( C)

> Average Salary 2010/2011: $47,080
> # of Enrolled Students Per Teacher 2010/2011: 13.7 (18th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Math Score 2009: 288.59 (11th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Reading Score 2009: 266.79 (19th)
> Average Daily Attendance as a % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 94.5% (15th)
> High School Graduation Rate as % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 6.42% (28th)

Kansas officials have asked for relief from requirements of the No Child Left Behind law. More than five dozen school districts filed a class action suit in November over what they consider to be unconstitutional cuts in state aid.  Governor Sam Brownbeck’s proposed budget cuts per-pupil for education spending.

 

9. Tennessee ( C+)

> Average Salary 2010/2011: $47,043
> # of Enrolled Students Per Teacher 2010/2011: 14.67 (29th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Math Score 2009: 274.76 (42nd)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Reading Score 2009: 260.94 (33rd)
> Average Daily Attendance as a % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 86% (44th)
> High School Graduation Rate as % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 6.68% (21st)

Memphis Superintendent Kriner Cash is moving on an “ambitious plan to begin six-day weeks for elementary school children, fast-track graduation options in high schools and the utilization of new technology,”  according to the Commercial Appeal. Gov. Phil Bredesen’s proposed budget includes a $47 million increase for public schools. Representative Debra Young Maggart, a Republican recently introduced a bill that would forbid  teachers’ unions from collective bargaining, a proposal which the New York Times says has left many teachers demoralized.

8. New Mexico (C)

> Average Salary 2010/2011: $46,950
> # of Enrolled Students Per Teacher 2010/2011: 14.94 (33rd)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Math Score 2009: 269.7 (48th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Reading Score 2009: 254.12 (46th)
> Average Daily Attendance as a % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 95.7% (9th)
> High School Graduation Rate as % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 5.92% (39th)

Gov. Susana Martinez believes that the $5.4 billion spending plan approved Friday by the House Appropriations and Finance Committee short changes education.. Last year, 24 school districts requested emergency financial help from the state.   A bill that would tie teacher evaluations to student performance is pending before the Legislature.

7. North Carolina ( C+)

> Average Salary 2010/2011: $46,850
> # of Enrolled Students Per Teacher 2010/2011: 14.74 (31st)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Math Score 2009: 284.33 (25th)
> Average National Assessment of Educational Progress Reading Score 2009: 259.52 (37th)
> Average Daily Attendance as a % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 92.4% (32nd)
> High School Graduation Rate as % of Fall Enrollment 2010/2011: 6.45% (27th)

The financial picture for North Carolina schools is bleaker now than it was at the start of the recession because  federal stimulus money has dried up. That means budget cuts.  “Last week, Gov. Bev Perdue proposed a 3.9 percent reduction to public schools that spared cuts to classroom teachers and assistants, “ The Charlotte Observer says. “But it recommended trimming several thousand noninstructional positions, including administrators, office workers, janitors and bus drivers. ” Republicans who control the legislature are pushing for deeper cuts in education, the paper says.

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