New Mexico is 2021’s 10th Worst State for Teachers, Where Does Your State Rank?


With World Teachers’ Day around the corner and more than half of public-school teachers reporting significant learning loss during the COVID-19 pandemic, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2021’s Best & Worst States for Teachers,  and expert commentary.

In order to help educators find the best opportunities and teaching environments in the U.S., 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 whether the state has a digital learning plan.

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

  • 32nd – Avg. Salary for Teachers (Adjusted for Cost of Living)
  • 51st – Quality of School System
  • 31st – Pupil-Teacher Ratio
  • 31st – Public-School Spending per Student
  • 18th – Projected Competition in Year 2028
  • 33rd – Existence of Digital Learning Plan

For the full report, please visit:

More from WalletHub

Expert Commentary

What are the biggest issues teachers face today?

“The pandemic is the biggest issue teachers currently face. Teachers are tasked with providing high-quality instruction via multiple modalities (in-person, remote, hybrid) and face tremendous uncertainty concerning their own health and the health of students and families. More generally, schools and teachers are asked to do too much and are given too few resources. Students come to school with myriad challenges (e.g., food or housing insecurity, mental health concerns, etc.) and teachers are still expected to drive improvements in academic outcomes. Particularly in high-needs schools, teachers are overworked and underpaid.”
Brendan Bartanen – Assistant Professor, University of Virginia

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the biggest issues teachers face today is how to protect themselves and their students so they can teach their students and their students can learn. Teachers have already worked through a full year of dealing with the pandemic, and they are tired and exhausted. They do not need to be physically or emotionally harassed by parents who do not want to mask their children. School administrators and state leaders need to step up to protect their teachers so teachers can do the important job of protecting and teaching students.”
Tuan Nguyen, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Kansas State University

What tips can you offer young teachers looking for a place to settle? ​

“Consider the cost of living as you think about salary. If you will be traveling often for professional development (or personal reasons) consider proximity to major airports. Also, find out what the culture of the institution is – do lots of people live nearby and gather regularly near the campus? Or do people commute in and out, creating less of a social atmosphere for the campus?”
Lisa S. Mastrangelo, Ph.D. – Associate Professor, Centenary University

“Do not get too comfortable. Your first job will rarely be your last. In higher education, they say on average, a professor will hold a job at four different institutions throughout the course of their career. The same goes for K-12 teachers. Be prepared to find better opportunities every now and again. Jump on them when presented. Make sure when you make your decision on where you want to work, that your co-workers and fellow teachers are people you see yourself working with. Do some research on schools you know you are being interviewed for. Putting in the work up front will help you secure a job in the long run.”
Ashley Phelps – Visiting Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico

What are the main educational trends in 2021?

“The pandemic and associated learning loss. Many students missed a substantial portion of the school year or did not receive enough support in the online/hybrid learning environment. These challenges are greatest for disadvantaged students, who tend to have fewer resources at home that can make up for the lost instruction time. Understanding how far behind students are and how to support them moving forward is a key issue.”
Brendan Bartanen – Assistant Professor, University of Virginia

“I think trauma-informed teaching approaches are becoming more widespread and critical to the teaching profession. I also think co-teaching in public school classrooms is becoming more widespread. I think teachers are thinking more about social justice and what that looks like for their students and communities.”
Cara Djonko-Moore – Assistant Professor, Rhodes College

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.