There are substantially more students per every teacher in California than there are in Vermont.
New data released this week from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) shows how student-teacher ratio varied by state in the 2012 - 2013 school year. On average, there were 16 teachers per every public school student in the country that year. However, numbers ranged from a high of almost 24 students for every teacher in California, to about 11 students per every teacher in Vermont, as seen in the map below:
The data used in the NCES report came from state education agencies who reported numbers from their local schools. The data contained information from all types of public school settings, including special education classes.
It is unclear if these ratios have a strong impact on the quality of education offered in these states. When student-teacher ratios are compared to states' average math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for eighth-graders, the two factors do not have an especially strong relationship. Below is a breakdown of how states fared on this assessment: