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Texas has best teacher starting salary in nation but ranks 49th in income growth potential, study shows

Texas is overall the 14th best state for teachers when comparing salary, student-teacher ratio, quality of schools systems and more.
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Storytelling, teacher or students with questions in a classroom or library for learning development.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Teachers in 2023 make about $3,644 less per year than they did 10 years ago when adjusted for inflation, according to the personal-finance website WalletHub, which just released a new report on 2023’s Best & Worst States for Teachers

The study showed while Texas teachers make the highest average starting salary, the potential for growth of that salary is one of the worst in the nation.  

"Teachers remain underpaid despite the most important role they have in developing our next cadre of leaders, doctors, lawyers, and scientists," Ramon Goings with the University of Maryland said. "Along with this, teachers are still supporting students dealing with crises including the impact of COVID-19 which has dramatically shaped how schools run."

WalletHub analyzed the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 key metrics, ranging from teachers’ income growth potential to the pupil-teacher ratio to public-school spending per student.

Texas was also at the bottom of the list for public school spending per student. Here's where Texas ranked in several metrics in the study:

Teacher-Friendliness of Texas (1=Best; 25=Avg.):

  • Overall rank for Texas: 14th
  • 1st – Avg. Starting Salary for Teachers (Adjusted for Cost of Living)
  • 13th – Avg. Salary for Teachers (Adjusted for Cost of Living)
  • 28th – Quality of School System
  • 30th – Pupil-Teacher Ratio
  • 46th – Public-School Spending per Student
  • 49th – Teachers’ Income Growth Potential
  • 16th – Projected Competition in Year 2030
  • 17th – 10-Year Change in Teacher Salaries
  • 1st – Existence of Digital Learning Plan

Research has found that teachers matter more to student achievement than any other aspect of schooling. But after decades of insufficient pay and increased workloads, many teachers across the United States have had enough.

Teachers in K-12 education report significantly higher rates of burnout than full-time workers in any other industry, including other high-stress professions like healthcare and law, according to a 2022 Gallup poll.

VERIFY contributed to this article. 

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