BOISE, Idaho – A new report from the National Education Association (NEA) ranked Idaho last for per student funding and 39th for teacher salaries.
The NEA Rankings and Estimates report was released Monday and ranks Idaho 51st, including the 50 states and the District of Columbia, in per student funding. According to national rankings, Idaho invested $ 7,705 per student in the 2019-20 school year, one of only three states to decline from the 2018-2019 school year, alongside the ‘Alabama and Maryland.
Idaho, on average, also invested about $ 601 less per student than the next lowest state, Utah.
“The Idaho Legislature’s lack of support for public education continues to be a national embarrassment,” said Idaho Education Association (IEA) President Layne McInelly. “As our legislature focuses on unnecessary tax cuts, vouchers for private schools and kangaroo court task forces on ‘indoctrination’, the real issues facing the public in Idaho include including the dramatic shortages of resources and personnel, remain unanswered. “
When it comes to staff, the IEA notes that Idaho is ranked 39th for average teacher salaries, which they say makes it difficult for schools to hire and keep teachers. By comparison, Washington is ranked 6th nationally for average teacher salaries.
“While Idaho has made strides in the gross compensation of our dedicated professional educators, surrounding states have also increased salaries, so the relative increase is negligible,” McInelly said. “Our legislature must do more to help local school districts retain senior teachers and attract early career educators. “
While Idaho lags behind in those measures, the IEA notes that the state leads most of the country in a different measure: class size. According to the NEA report, Idaho ranks 6th for the average number of students enrolled per teacher, which means more students in classes, and the IEA suggests that this leads to less individualized instruction for students.
You can read the full report, as well as the rankings from previous years, on the website NEA website.
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