South Carolina continues to rank in the bottom 10 states for teachers, a new study has found.
The Palmetto State ranks No. 41 in a new listing of best states to be a teacher, according to a new study from personal finance website WalletHub.
Neighboring Georgia ranked No. 12; North Carolina ranked No. 33 and Tennessee ranked No. 38, according to the rankings.
The study was compiled using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics and other organizations, according to the site’s methodology page. The ranking criteria include teacher salaries and pension, public school enrollment growth, tenure policy, plans for digital learning, teacher turnover and more.
Ranking methods change by year, so WalletHub spokeswoman Diana Polk advises against directly comparing this years’ ranking to past years. However, recent rankings have also placed S.C. in or near the bottom 10 states for teachers. In 2020, S.C. ranked No. 40; in 2019, S.C. ranked 44th and in 2018 S.C. ranked 45th, Polk said in an email.
In recent years, South Carolina lawmakers have tried to fight the state’s teacher shortage by increasing pay, The State reported previously. Local school districts, seeking to minimize turnover exacerbated by COVID-19-related job stresses and improve working conditions, have offered teachers and other district employees one-time bonuses.
WalletHub provided to The State some of South Carolina’s specific rankings that don’t appear on the public portion of the study. Here are a few highlights:
Average starting salary for teachers: $37,754 (ranks No. 34)
Average salary for teachers: $53,619 (No. 33)
Average teacher pension: $20,640 (No. 37)
Pupil-to-teacher ratio: 14.69 (No. 24)
Public school spending per student: $10,945 (No. 41)
Projected share of teacher turnover: 8.6% (No. 34)
Percent of teachers who feel supported by administration: 54% (No. 14)