N.C. Teacher Pay and Per-Student Spending Lags Woefully Behind Other States

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N.C. Teacher Pay and Per-Student Spending Lags Woefully Behind Other States

RALEIGH, N.C. – The National Education Association (NEA) released today its annual ranking of the states for 2015 and estimates for school statistics for 2016. North Carolina continues to be squarely in the bottom 10 states in average teacher pay and expenditures per student, lagging well behind most other Southeastern states.

“On the heels of National Teacher Appreciation Week last week, our state elected officials must make public education a priority and start to restore respect to the education profession,” said NCAE President Rodney Ellis. “Being in the bottom 10 in the nation on investing in our public school students and educators is unacceptable. We have dangerously high teacher turnover rates and dangerously low enrollment in teacher training programs. Instead of using a surplus budget for more tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, we should be investing in our public school students, educators, and schools.”

The final NEA rankings for 2015 place North Carolina 43rd in per-pupil spending, however what is troubling is the state continues to fall further behind the national average. In 2013-14, North Carolina was $2,724 behind the national average. Despite moving up slightly in rankings, North Carolina fell further behind the national average with a gap of $2,792. The final average teacher pay ranking for 2015 stayed at 42nd, almost $10,000 behind the national average. That ranks North Carolina 10th out of 12 states in the Southeast in both categories. The NEA report projects North Carolina will be 41st in average teacher pay and 44th in per-pupil spending next year.

When leaders in the General Assembly adopted their teacher pay plan in 2014 that focused mainly on beginning teachers, they said it would move North Carolina to 32nd nationally. That didn’t happen. With only a $750 one-time bonus for a majority of educators in 2015, North Carolina continues to be mired in the bottom of the states. In addition, North Carolina ranks 48th in the nation in change in average pay over the last decade when adjusted for inflation at an astounding -10.2 percent.

To view the complete NEA Ranking & Estimates, go to http://www.nea.org/home/66703.htm