by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
According to WalletHub, New Jersey is the best state for teachers.
Education Week reporter Emmanuel Felton had a little fun with WalletHub’s ridiculous ranking.
That may come as a surprise to people who follow K-12 education news or teacher policy. There is perhaps no state where teachers are locked into a more hostile relationship with their governor. A quick YouTube search turns up six years worth of videos of Republican Chris Christie publicly admonishing teachers who had questioned his educational priorities. In 2015, he said teachers’ unions needed a “punch in the face.” And just this summer, Christie likened the state union to the fictional mafia family, the Corleones. The governor is currently battling the union over his plan to equalize state funding across districts, a move that would effectively decimate state aid to poor schools. He’s also trying to upend tenure protections for teachers in such schools.
While Christie’s reform agenda is not as bad as Felton describes, there is little doubt that Christie and New Jersey teachers openly dislike one another.
Working conditions issues are not included in WalletHub’s teacher ranking formula.