For years, South Dakota teachers have been saddled with some of the lowest salaries in the nation. Now a new list goes even farther, calling the Mount Rushmore State the worst place for teachers to be in the classroom.

24/7 Wall Street ranked South Dakota dead last in its rankings of the worst states to be a teacher.

Each of the 50 states was ranked using an index of average annual teacher pay, student-teacher ratio, the percentage of new teachers who are expected to qualify for a pension, and the overall state quality grade.


  1. South Dakota
  2. Montana
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Hawaii
  5. Arizona
  6. Colorado
  7. Maine
  8. Mississippi
  9. Utah
  10. Nevada

The numbers show that South Dakota's average pay of $48,947 is the third lowest in America, behind only Oklahoma ($46,456) and Arizona ($47,597). But the state still fell to the bottom of the list thanks to a very low average retirement benefit and a lack of strict regulations for issuing licenses and evaluating teachers.

These factors contributed to South Dakota schools recently receiving a grade of F from the National Council for Teacher Quality.

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