Teachers work in a challenging but deeply rewarding field. Faced with the task of improving the minds of students from kindergarten through college, educators have arguably the biggest impact on the lives of most people. Unfortunately, many teachers in the United States feel both overworked and underpaid. Fortunately, that’s not typically the case for those in one of the best states for teachers, Massachusetts. A good argument can be made that Massachusetts, more than any other state, is the best location for teachers in the U.S. And for those earning a master’s degree in education, the chances of earning the best jobs in the best state for teaching can improve dramatically. But why become a teacher in Massachusetts? Consider the following.
Academic and Work Environment for Teachers
In a Wallet Hub report from 2017, Massachusetts ranked among the Top 10 best states to work as a teacher. The state also ranked third for the best academic and work environment. Massachusetts also ranked third for the least amount of teacher turnover, an issue that plagues many other areas of the country. How bad is it? Washington state reported that 61 percent of school districts reported principals having to substitute because of the lack of certified teachers. Other ranking lists reach the same result. Massachusetts tops this list of the best states for teachers from Forbes. Monster ranks Massachusetts the best for overall school systems and third for academic and work environment.
Education Reform Act
In 1993, then-Gov. William Weld signed the Education Reform Act into law. Few things better illustrate the state’s commitment to education. The law required the state to put more money into low-income school districts, giving students from poorer neighborhoods access to a better education and relieving those districts from having to do it all on their own with low property taxes income. One of the major focuses has been hiring and retaining good teachers. Money also went to better textbooks, classroom technology, and improved courses – all of which led to happier teachers and better student outcomes. Weld’s quote from the day he signed the bill still rings true: “A good education in a safe environment is the magic wand that brings opportunity. It’s up to us to make sure that wand is waved over every cradle.”
In this study from Niche, the average teacher pay in Massachusetts came in at $77,804. That trailed only California and New York. As noted by the Washington Post, many different lists rank states by average teacher salary, and there’s variance in each. However, Massachusetts is never far from the top. The commitment at the state level to fund education is in direct opposition to the strategy in other high-population states.
Quality of Life
In this often-quoted U.S. News ranking, Massachusetts ranks No. 1 in education. Overall, the state ranks eighth but was No. 1 just last year. The more in-depth rankings also report that 50 percent of the state’s population is college educated. That’s far more than the national number. Massachusetts also ranked eighth for economic opportunity and fourth for per household income. It’s also the sort of state that inspires very long, very passionate media articles about why it’s the best. Teaching is a challenging job no matter where you work. However, some states do a better job paying, support and providing a positive academic environment for teachers. Massachusetts is clearly one of the best states for teachers.