The running joke in Arkansas whenever national rankings in education, wealth or other categories were released has always been "thank God for Mississippi." Arkansas often ranked at the bottom, one step above its Southern neighbor. But in the latest National Education Association rankings of teacher pay, Arkansas outranked all its regional neighbors and climbed four spots from 36th in 2004-05 to 32nd in 2005-06, the year used to compile the report on the 50 states and Washington D.C. The average Arkansas teacher salary was $42,768; the national average was $49,026.Alabama ranked 44th, Louisiana 45th, Mississippi 41st, Missouri 42nd, Oklahoma 48th, Tennessee 34th, and Texas 35th.
All of my life I have listened to Arkansans bitching about how underpaid our teachers are. Does this mean they will stop? An Arkansas teacher would have to move at least two states away to be paid more.