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North Carolina’s Average Teacher Pay Ranking Dropped, New Reports Finds

Source: Axios

According to a new report, North Carolina fell two spots in annual teacher salary rankings, dropping to 38th in the nation. 

The report released earlier this month by the National Education Association found that North Carolina’s average teacher salary is $13,000 below the national average at $56,559, and almost $15,000 below the minimum living wage. 

According to the NEA’s report, while teacher salaries nationwide rose an average of 4.1% over the year, North Carolina’s average increased only 3.1% despite revenue surpluses. 

“North Carolinians believe that our students should have the opportunity to learn, to grow and to thrive. Our public schools give the vast majority of those students that opportunity, but we could be doing so much more,” said Tamika Walker Kelly, President of the North Carolina Association of Educators, in a statement.

 “The latest data shows North Carolina again trailing our neighboring states like Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia on critical measures like per student spending and average teacher pay. Until we raise teacher pay to at least the national average and fully-fund our public schools, North Carolina is giving our youngest generation less than they deserve.”

Last year, Governor Roy Cooper proposed a state budget that included an 8.5% raise in teacher pay this year, a $1,500 retention bonus, and reinstatement of master’s pay. Gov. Cooper called for an additional $1 billion to go toward public education and strengthen the state’s teacher pipeline. 

However, the Republican controlled legislature did little to invest in public education. Instead of making investments towards the state’s public schools, state Republicans finalized a budget that prioritized private school vouchers

Under the state’s controversial private school voucher program, private schools could siphon more than $200 million in state funding from public schools; wasting $625 million in taxpayer dollars, while gravely underfunding public schools across the state. 

“Of all the important issues in North Carolina, the top priority for Republicans is funneling taxpayer money into private school vouchers for the wealthy instead of giving teachers a decent pay raise,” said Governor Roy Cooper in a statement.

“This is catastrophic for the hardworking educators who deserve higher pay and the families with children in public schools whose education is threatened by this reckless desire to give a government handout to millionaires.”


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