Arizona Is The Worst State To Be A What?


At Least We Have Each Other

Jasmine Varelas, Co Editor of Opinion and A&E

“Take a heavy workload, divide it by low pay, factor in a lack of respect and support – from our elected leaders but also from parents and administrators — and well, you do the math.” reports that Arizona has mastered the trifecta: we are ranked as having the highest teacher-student ratio and teacher turnover, and our state spends the least per student.   Two years ago we ranked 49th. Now we are 51st – that’s right.  Out of 50 states.  The financial services website, WalletHub, compared the 50 states plus Washington D.C., analyzing 21 key indicators, ranging from income growth potential to class size to safety. We are 51st, and we’re ranked as dead last in the number of people expected to be competing for teacher jobs by 2024.

Arizona also has the lowest expectation of people thinking about becoming a teacher.  The first quarter has not even ended yet, and about 500 teachers have already quit.  Here’s some perspective on salaries in Arizona according to 12News: Food service managers ($55,010); retail supervisors ($40,870); mail clerks ($42,510); post office clerks ($53,010); and utility meter readers ($44,760) in Arizona have higher average salaries than teachers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And these jobs do not require college degrees.

The Washington Post reported that “teachers have been fleeing Arizona in droves.” According to a 2015 report by the Arizona Department of Education, “over the last five years, thousands of teachers have left the state. Educators say reasons include low pay, insufficient classroom resources, and so many testing requirements and teaching guidelines that they feel they have no flexibility and too little authentic instructional time.” According to new Census Bureau statistics, Arizona is near the bottom of a state list of spending per student, $7,208. The average per pupil spending around the country is $10,700, and the state is near or at the bottom for classroom spending per student.

Teachers say it’s simple math.  Some people might not think teachers deserve better.  But don’t you?