LOGAN – Personal finance website WalletHub has declared Utah as the second best state in America for teachers. Among 25 key metrics the site used, Utah placed 1st in three different categories: Existence of Digital Learning Plan, Presence of Teacher-Effectiveness Requirement and Presence of Annual Teacher-Evaluation Requirement. The state also placed in the top five of eight different metrics, and in the top 10 of 14 different metrics.
Utah is ranked 2nd for Share of Teachers Who Feel Supported by Their Administrator (62%) and Prevalence of Childhood Disadvantage; 3rd for Teachers’ Income Growth Potential and Share of New Teachers with Inadequate Pensions (only 40%); and, 5th for Public-School Enrollment Growth.
While Utah is third among all states in Teachers’ Income Growth Potential, it is listed at 40th for the Average Salary for Teachers ($49,742). The state was also listed in the bottom 10 for Public-School Spending Per Student ($8,246 – ranked 50th), Pupil-Teacher Ratio (22.75 – ranked 49th), and Teacher Preparation Program Completion (32.08% – ranked 42nd).
WalletHub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key categories: “Opportunity & Competition” and “Academic & Work Environment.”
“Because competitive salaries and job security are integral to a well-balanced personal and professional life, we assigned a heavier weight to the first category,” the site said when explaining its methodology.
Utah was ranked 13th for Average Starting Salary for Teachers ($38,914), one of only two metrics that were weighted more than any other. It was also adjusted for the cost of living. Length of Time Before Tenure Kicks In was also given extra weight in the site’s formula. The state ranked 8th overall. And Utah was ranked 6th in Teacher Tenure Protections.
Utah neighbors were varied in their rankings. Wyoming is ranked 19th, Idaho 26th, Colorado 36th, Nevada, Arizona 49th and New Mexico 50th.
According to the website, data used to create the rankings were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, National Education Association, National Center for Education Statistics, Council for Community and Economic Research, TeacherPensions.org, ProCon.org, National Council on Teacher Quality, Projections Central – State Occupational Projections, Learning Policy Institute, Education Commission of the States, Editorial Projects in Education, State Educational Technology Directors Association and WalletHub research.
1 – Existence of Digital Learning Plan
1 – Presence of Annual Teacher-Evaluation Requirement
1 – Presence of Teacher-Effectiveness Requirement
2 – Share of Teachers Who Feel Supported by Their Administrator (62%)
2 – Prevalence of Childhood Disadvantage
3 – Teachers’ Income Growth Potential
3 – Share of New Teachers with Inadequate Pensions (40%)
5 – Public-School Enrollment Growth
6 – Teacher Tenure Protections
8 – Length of Time Before Tenure Kicks In
8 – Projected Teacher Competition in Year 2028
8 – State Statute on Out-of-School Access to Instructional Materials
9 – Statewide School Reopening
10 – Average Commute Time
13 – Average Starting Salary for Teachers ($38,914)
15 – 10-Year Change in Teacher Salaries (16.52%)
18 – Quality of School System
22 – Projected Share of Teacher Turnover (6.7%)
26 – Working Mom Friendliness
29 – State Guidance on Accessible Technologies
29 – Average Teacher Pension ($23,209)
40 – Average Salary for Teachers ($49,742)
42 – Teacher Preparation Program Completion (32.08%)
49 – Pupil-Teacher Ratio
50 – Public-School Spending per Student ($8,246)