North Carolina ranks as the worst state in the country for teachers, says a new study from a financial review site that's gotten a lot of attention this week.
According to the study, here's how North Carolina stacked up in the following categories:
- 41st – Average Starting Salaries
- 47th – Median Annual Salaries
- 38th – Unemployment Rate
- 51st – 10-Year Change in Teacher Salaries
- 32nd – Pupil to Teacher Ratio
- 48th – Public School Spending per Student
- 43rd – Teachers Wage Disparity
- 40th – Safest Schools
Their methodology in the teacher study is also a bit interesting. Check it out for yourself here. It includes a ton of different factors beyond just job numbers and salaries, including "Percentage of Projected Population of Ages 5 to 17 by Year 2030." The study also takes into account a handful of other studies WalletHub has done in the past, like "Best and Worst States for Underprivileged Children Ranking."
Activist group Progress NC quickly turned the WalletHub study into a political statement:
“Here is yet more evidence that the right-wing political machine controlling state government is on a mission to ruin our public schools,” Executive Director Gerrick Brenner said in a statement. “Our state used to be a leader in public education. Now politicians like House Speaker Thom Tillis have driven North Carolina schools to the very back of the pack.”
U.S. Kay Hagan also posted about the report on her campaign website. She's locked in a tough race against Tillis for her seat.
The right side of the political spectrum took notice as well. Conservative blog Sister Toldjah pointed out that the WalletHub study looks at salary changes over a 10 year period. Democrats were in charge of the General Assembly for most of that time. Republicans grabbed the majority in 2010, and the governor's mansion in 2012.