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The best and worst states for teacher salaries

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Beth Marcinko, Clark.com

There’s no doubt that teachers are an important part of society and have tremendous influence on our children. But is the value and impact teachers have reflected in the amount they’re paid?

How much are good teachers worth?

Oklahoma has been in the news lately over the state’s education system, from the teacher panhandling for school supplies to a report that an entry level QuikTrip employee can make more than a teacher in that state.

The poor teacher salaries even drove the 2016 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year to move to Texas to earn a better wage. Unfortunately, Oklahoma isn’t the only state that struggles to provide teachers with a salary that reflects their hard work and (in many cases) advanced degrees.

Here’s the ranking of states based on mean annual wage for elementary school teachers as of May 2016:

50. Oklahoma – $41,150

49. Mississippi – $42,370

48. Arizona – $42,730

47. South Dakota – $43,180

46. North Carolina – $43,900

45. West Virginia – $45,520

44. Arkansas – $46,950

43. Idaho – $47,140

42. Florida – $47,610

41. Louisiana – $48,100

40. South Carolina – $48,480

39. Montana – $49,010

38. Alabama – $49,120

37. Kansas – $49,140

36. Indiana – $49,250

35. North Dakota – $49,320

34. Tennessee – $50,090

33. Colorado – $51,360

32. Maine – $51,810

31. Kentucky – $52,420

30. Iowa – $53,030

29. Missouri – $53,390

28. Utah – $54,180

27. Nebraska – $54,740

26. Texas – $54,780

Read more: Here’s the average salary for registered nurses in every U.S. state

25. Nevada – $54,810

24. Georgia – $54,890

23. Wisconsin – $55,120

22. New Hampshire – $56,390

21. Vermont – $56,940

20. Hawaii – $57,370

19. New Mexico – $58,090

18. Wyoming – $58,860

17. Ohio – $59,000

16. Illinois – $60,760

15. Delaware – $60,810

14. Washington – $60,950

13. Michigan – $61,260

12. Minnesota – $62,000

11. Pennsylvania – $62,250

10. Oregon – $63,390

9. Maryland – $64,970

8. Rhode Island – $66,160

7. Virginia – $66,700

6.  New Jersey – $68,810

5.  Alaska – $73,050

4.  California – $74,270

3. Massachusetts – $74,470

2. Connecticut – $76,740

1. New York – $77,330

Find other statistics and interactive maps on elementary school teachers at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

 

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