Teacher Pay: A step in the right direction

A few weeks ago, Governor Roy Cooper delivered his State of the State address to the people of North Carolina.  Unfortunately, Governor Cooper relied on old statistics before presenting his case to the people and more recently when publicly releasing his “theoretical” budget. 

Yesterday, the National Education Association, which is one of the largest teacher unions in the nation, released its annual report on the status of education funding across the country, including North Carolina. 

First, the report released last year was adjusted upward. The validity of the methodology could be questioned, but the media commonly cite the NEA report, especially if it can be used as “spin” against conservatives.

North Carolina has jumped several spots to an estimated ranking of 29th in the nation in average teacher pay, according to a new report released Tuesday by the National Education Association.

The new NEA salary report estimates that North Carolina’s average teacher pay is $53,975, up from $51,231 last school year. The NEA projects that North Carolina jumped five spots from its final 2017-18 ranking of 34th in the nation.

The new NEA rankings continue a trend where state pay raises over the past several years have sharply increased both North Carolina’s average salary and national ranking. North Carolina had fallen to 47th in the rankings in 2013 after the recession.

Raleigh News & Observer

While the ranking is a step in the right direction, and second in the Southeast is a great accomplishment, we must and will do more.  Our goal is and has been to reward teachers for their hard work while ensuring our children are getting the best education possible to prepare them for the future.  

Since the Great Recession, our state has faced many challenges.  We have made progress. We will continue to prioritize our state’s sound fiscal footing.  We will continue to save for the unexpected rainy day.  Lastly, we will continue to make strategic investments for our future. 

Representative Jeffrey Elmore 

Chairman of House Education K-12 and Education Appropriations 

Teacher, Wilkes County Schools