About NEA’s Annual Rankings & Estimates Report
What Is the Rankings & Estimates Report and How Can I Use It to Benefit My State?
Rankings & Estimates is an annual report that the National Education Association’s Research Department has produced for 70 years. The report consists of two parts:
- Rankings, which shows how states compare on a variety of education and funding measures, such as average teacher salaries, enrollment, student-teacher ratios, general financial resources, and revenue and expenditures for the most recent school year; and
- Estimates, which shows how education funding in each state has changed over time, plus presents projections of public school enrollment, personnel employment and compensation, and finances for the school year that is underway.
NEA collects the data for Rankings & Estimates from state affiliates and state departments of education. Although the primary audiences for this document are NEA’s state and local affiliates and partner organizations, this report is also highly useful for policymakers, business organizations, community organizers, researchers, education advocates, members of the press, and others who are concerned about adequate and equitable funding for public education.
What kinds of information can I find in Rankings & Estimates?
Just a few of the key measures included in this report are:
- Average teacher salaries and how these have changed over time
- Which states had the largest increases, and which had the largest decreases, in average teacher salary over the past year
- Revenues of state and local governments, generated through taxation, which provide insights into governmental financial resources that are available for financing public education
- Current expenditures per student which are an indicator of state and local government “effort” to fund public education
- Population trends to help identify patterns of growth or decline for each state and the implications for staffing and financing public education
What are some of the ways I can use the information in this report to benefit public education in my state?
- To lobby for state policies and legislation that will result in more equitable funding for public education.
The Arkansas Education Association, as an organization, uses the Rankings to develop salary goals and proposals. In the Arkansas court case resolving their adequacy and equity issues, the NEA’s Rankings & Estimates data were used in calculating adequate funding for state aide matrix funding for school districts.
--Peggy L. Nabors, Director of Legal Services
Arkansas Education Association
- To raise public awareness and to organize groups in my state to take action on issues such as teacher compensation and class size.
Washington uses the Rankings & Estimates publication in internal and external PR and organizing throughout the bargaining and legislative session.
--Marie Cañas, Center for Education Quality, Research
Washington Education Association
- To advocate for higher pay for teachers and more state funding for public schools by showing how my state compares to others.
The North Carolina Association of Educators, in a non-collective bargaining state, uses the Rankings data on average teacher salary rankings and per pupil expenditure rankings as a vital and main negotiating chip to lobby for teacher raises and increased K-12 education funding. During the late 1990s, a former governor took on an initiative NCAE developed to raise teacher salaries to the national average by 2000. It was NCAE’s main theme for membership recruitment, trainings, and the top association goal. The campaign was "Average Salary 2000." NCAE went from a rank of 43rd to 20th during that time frame, which was close to the U.S. average.
--Marge Foreman, NCAE Government Relations Specialist
North Carolina Association of Educators
Are there any tools in the Rankings & Estimates report to help me develop similar strategies in my own state?
Yes. Rankings and Estimates includes two templates at the back of the report which allow you to compare your state to others, or to regional or national averages. By using these templates, you can determine whether you rank at the top, in the middle, or at the bottom relative to other states in your region on measures such as public school revenue per $1,000 of personal income in your state or percentage change in per capita personal income over the past decade. You can also determine whether conditions in your state are improving or getting worse over time.
Where can I obtain additional copies of Rankings & Estimates?
Rankings & Estimates is available online, where it can be downloaded and printed is available online, where it can be downloaded and printed.