Parents across the country are learning how hard teachers actually work in the wake of COVID-19.
The pandemic has upended education, forcing kids and teachers to hold classes over the internet. Whether your child is attending school full-time, part-time, or online, this school year will go down as one of the most challenging years in history. Parents are learning how hard it is to keep kids engaged in learning, giving them a new appreciation for the work that teachers do. Wallet Hub has come out with a study that ranks the best states for teachers, based on salary, student-to-teacher ratios, friendliness, and digital learning infrastructure. According to the study, teachers working in the DMV region have it better than about 80 percent of teachers in the U.S.
Virginia and Maryland rank high in the quality of education, but it also turns out the states are good for teachers, too. Both states are in the top 10, Virginia at No. 7 and Maryland at No. 8. Virginia was also rated as the the state with the fourth-best school system in the nation but, unfortunately, it has one of the highest rates of turnover. The state that ranked No. 1 overall is Washington, and down at the bottom is New Hampshire. Washington, D.C., ranked near the bottom at No. 46.
The Wallet Hub study looked at 25 variants, each worth 100 points and averaged out to create the rankings. Variants were broken down into two main categories, "opportunity and competition" and "academic and work environment." The opportunity and competition category includes starting salary, average pension, income potential, tenure, and how the state prepares and supports teachers. Competition and work environment includes things like school spending per student, student-teacher ratios, and what kind of technology and lesson planning states have implemented for distance learning. A full version of the report is available at Wallet Hub.
Most counties in Maryland and Virginia have instituted distance learning for at least the first quarter of the 2020-2021 school year. On August 27, 2020, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced all counties were authorized to reopen schools. The announcement frustrated parents, teachers, and school systems, many of which had already shifted to online learning for the rest of 2020.
The governor pledged $10 million to school systems who open for in-person learning beginning in the second quarter of the current school year. School systems still have the flexibility to decide when to open based on health metrics in their counties.