Here in Southern Nevada, we are painfully aware of where we land on the education spectrum. The most recent study from US News and World Report finds Nevada at number 48 on the list of states with the best public Pre-K through 12th grade education. It would certainly help if we could keep great teaching talent. A new report shows that might be a problem.

WalletHub ran the numbers and put Nevada at #42 on the list of Best States for Teachers. The survey compared all 50 states and Washington D.C. and, using 24 metrics, calculated “teacher friendliness”. It was not pretty for the Silver State.

Source: WalletHub

The Report’s Methodology

Of the 24 metrics, there are two main categories: Opportunity & Competition (salaries, chance for advancement, etc) and Academic & Work Environment (technology, student to teacher ratio, actual education plan, etc).

Nevada ranked 31st in Opportunity & Competition, propped up by a category called “Projected Competition”. In other words how many teachers versus how many students six years from now. Nevada is projected to have the fewest teachers per student by 2028. So… not a lot of competition for jobs. That sounds great but… it’s not. That means Nevada, already 48th on the student-to-teacher ratio list (which means our class sizes are way bigger than the rest) is expected to get worse, not better.

Academic & Work Environment fared worse. Nevada ranked 46th in the nation in that category, only ahead of Arizona, Oklahoma, California, Alaska and New Mexico. The score is comprised of several smaller scores including “Projected Share of Teacher Turnover,” which has been a persistent issue in Nevada.

Just next door in Utah, they are ranked #2 on the list. Arizona, also next door, ranked 48th. Before you ask, it might not be related to funding. Utah only spends approximately $8,000 per student and Arizona around $8,800 per student compared to Nevada’s $9,100. All far below the nationwide average of $13,185 per student, but with drastically different results.

Whatever the case, Nevada needs to make sure teachers feel supported and keep our best talent. Our kids deserve it.