Wake Ed

April 24, 2014

Civitas on Wake County teachers’ “far less sympathetic” stories of low pay

The Civitas Institute says that the three Wake County teachers who talked about resigning because of low pay are “far less sympathetic” because they make between $45,512 and $47,000 a year.

The conservative Civitas Institute says it wants to provide a “little perspective” on the arguments that Wake County school administrators and teachers made at last week’s press conference that low pay is the reason behind an increase in mid-year teacher resignations.

In a Civitas Review blog post Tuesday, Civitas staff repeatedly focus on the salaries of those who spoke at the press conference about the issue of underpaid teachers. The blog post notes the six-figure salaries of Superintendent Jim Merrill and Assistant Superintendent Doug Thilman and the $86,800 salary of Underwood Elementary School Principal Jackie Jordan.

“Still, I can't imagine I was the only one who thought it a little odd that WCPSS chose to have the case for higher teacher pay made by a number of well-paid administrators,” Civitas writes.

Civitas also points to the salaries of the three teachers who said at the press conference that they’re leaving Wake because of low pay. Civitas notes how one teacher makes $47,000 a year and the couple make a combined salary of nearly $92,000 a year.

“I don't begrudge any of these employees and the salaries they make,” Civitas writes. “However when the facts are revealed the stories seem far less sympathetic. In fact, all three of the teachers mentioned had salaries higher than the WCPSS average teacher salary of $45,512. Median family income in North Carolina in 2012 is $45,150.

Think what you will, but a little perspective is always helpful.”

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The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui.

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