With raises in proposed state budget, North Carolina’s teacher pay remains in bottom 50%

More teacher pay is proposed in both the House and Senate versions of the new North Carolina...
More teacher pay is proposed in both the House and Senate versions of the new North Carolina state budget.(WITN)
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 9:16 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - A new report shows the average teacher salary in North Carolina is still among the lowest half in the United States.

According to the National Education Association (NEA), North Carolina ranks 46th in the nation for starting teacher pay, and 36th for overall average teacher pay.

In North Carolina, the average starting salary in the state is $37,676, with some starting teachers making more depending on varying county supplements. According to the NEA, the average starting salary nationwide is higher at $42,844.

The NEA puts North Carolina’s overall teacher pay average at $54,863 and the national average is $66,745.

The Economic Policy Institute puts North Carolina’s minimum living wage for one adult and one child as of 2020 at $48,346.

Kat Wallace is a parent of a student in Pitt County and she says she can speak from experience that teachers don’t get paid enough.

“Especially when the kids were sent home from Covid, having to homeschool. That was the most difficult thing that I’ve ever done. So they definitely don’t get paid enough” says Wallace.

President of the Pitt County Association of Educators Mario Blanchard says veteran teachers deserve even more. According to Blanchard, overall the current rate is not causing much of an issue with hiring teachers as it does in keeping them in their positions.

Ashley Barber is the parent of two students in Edgecombe County and she says teachers play multiple roles when it comes to students and pay should be equal to those in similar fields.

“Doctors and therapists, they make $100,000 or more,” says Barber “How come a teacher cannot?”

The North Carolina House and Senate versions of the next state budget both have differing pay increases for starting teachers over the next two years. The Senate passed their version this week, the House passed theirs last month. The two chambers will not form a conference committee to work out the differences and attempt to arrive at a mutual state budget.