Texas: Where Teacher Pay Is OK and Everything Else Is... Meh


We can just hear the sales pitch now: "Yeah, but you should see how bad the pay sucks in South Dakota!"

As poorly as Texas public-school teachers' salaries stack up against those of other professions, according to a new Wallet Hub study, they're not as bad as those in most other states.

Texas teachers' starting salaries are second-highest in the nation, and the average teacher salary here ranks 13th, as does the 10-year change in teacher salaries.
As a result, Wallet Hub ranks Texas the 19th-best place to be a teacher. New York tops the list, while Hawaii ranks at the bottom.

Before anybody raps me across the knuckles with a ruler for overselling Texas' treatment of educators, I'll point out that beyond salaries, the state gets poor to failing grades for its treatment of teachers.

Texas ranks below the median in per-student spending (36th), teacher's income growth potential (37th), teacher safety (30th) and pupil-teacher ratio (29th), for example.

While pay can be one downside of teaching, it seems likely those factors also play into the profession's high turnover. About one in five public-school teachers leave their positions before the end of their first year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

It would also be interesting to know how the rising cost of health benefits figured into Wallet Hub's calculations. Some 36,000 retired teachers and dependents fled the state-created health insurance system this year after Texas hiked both premiums and deductibles.

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