Rankings Show NC Trails Woefully Behind in Per-pupil Funding and Teacher Pay


NC significantly behind national average

RALEIGH, N.C.– New national rankings released today show that North Carolina continues to lag significantly behind the national average in two important education investment measures, per-pupil spending and average teacher pay. According to the Rankings & Estimates released by the National Education Association, North Carolina was estimated to rank 35th in average teacher pay for 2016-17, but final rankings show North Carolina actually ranked four spots worse at 39th and 8th in the Southeast. The final average teacher salary for 2016-17 was $49,970 and the projected average teacher salary for 2017-18 is $50,861, more than $9,600 behind the national average.   The report projects North Carolina will rank 37th this school year.  When accounting for inflation, North Carolina teachers have actually lost money over the last 10 years.

According to the same report, North Carolina ranks 39th in per-pupil spending, more than $2,300 behind the national average, and is projected to stay at 39th this year, but fall even further behind the national average of almost $12,000 per student.

The lackluster rankings come at the same time that the North Carolina General Assembly has passed massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. An analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy finds North Carolina would have $3.5 billion more in annual revenue if lawmakers had not changed the tax system that was in place in 2013.

“Our students deserve public schools that have the resources they need to be successful and educators who are respected like the professionals they are,” said NCAE President Mark Jewell.

“Instead of prioritizing corporate boardrooms, our elected leaders should be making critical investments in our classrooms.”

On May 16, the opening day of the legislative session, NCAE will host an Advocacy Day that includes a March for Students and a Rally for Respect.

NCAE is the state’s largest education advocacy organization for public school employees and represents active, retired, and student members.