SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota is bucking a national trend of teachers quitting in search of better working conditions and better pay.
National Education Association surveys have shown that about half of the teachers in the U.S. quit within five years after earning their degrees. In South Dakota, only about one-fourth of teachers leave in their first five years in the profession.
South Dakota Education Association President Sandy Arseneault says the reason isn’t the pay — NEA data show that South Dakota’s average teacher salary is the lowest in the country, at just under $40,000. She thinks the reason is that South Dakota is simply a great place to live and teach, in part because of smaller class sizes.