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Richland near the head of the class for teachers, says website

Richland is one of the best cities for teachers to move to based on their salary and what it costs to live there, according to a consumer financial website.

GoodCall.com ranked Richland 127th nationwide and fourth out of 22 Washington cities.

Researchers gathered information about 689 cities with school districts that listed job openings on Indeed.com, and then ranked them in nine categories.

Roughly 40 percent of each school district’s score was based on the number of jobs available and a comparison of the median teacher’s salary to the general median income of the area. The cost to live in the city contributed another 15 percent.

Other criteria used included the number of high school and college graduates, community amenities and the unemployment and crime rates.

The cities studied ranged in population from about 40,000 to 8 million.

Richland’s ranking was based on a $58,000 annual median income. That’s 148 percent more than the $39,100 median income for jobs in the Tri-City region.

Kennewick was ranked 589 and Pasco was 619, based on GoodCall’s analysis.

The webite analyzes data to give consumers recommendations on issues ranging from education and housing to money and careers.

Higher on the website’s list were Bellevue, Lacey and Redmond, all of which pay their teachers more money on average, but also have a higher cost of living.

“The Richland School District has an ever improving culture of teachers and administrators collaborating together to help students succeed,” Superintendent Rick Schulte said. “We are confident that other teachers will want to join this positive environment.”

The top school on GoodCall’s list was Bentonville, Ark., where teachers make 68 percent more than the median income, and the cost to live in the area is 10 percent less than the national average.

“The top cities tended to be smaller cities,” GoodCall said. “The top 10 percent averaged around 91,000 residents, while the bottom 10 percent averaged more than 138,000.”

Many of the leading cities were clustered in the center of the country around Detroit or Chicago, where the salaries outpaced the median income by a wider margin.

Included in the analysis was the percentage of a city’s population was how many completed high school and went on to college.

And while all three districts pay teachers the same, Kennewick and Pasco have a lower cost of living but Richland residents on average have higher education levels.

About 95 percent of Richland residents have a high school diploma and 47 percent have college degrees.

About 87 percent of Kennewick residents finished high school and 22 percent graduated from college. And in Pasco, 75 percent completed high school and 19 percent have higher education degrees.

Robyn Chastain, Kennewick’s director of communications, said she couldn’t comment specifically on GoodCall’s data, but said, “We know that we continue to attract the best teachers to Kennewick School District because of the low cost of living, best teacher pay in the Tri-Cities, supportive community, and the professional development opportunities made available to our staff.”

GoodCall reporter Courtney Davis said the cities included on the list were picked based on available data.

“For example, if a city didn’t have any jobs posted on Indeed, it wasn’t included in the final rankings,” she said.

The income data was from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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