Under the Dome

Teacher compensation top 2015 issue for NC Public School Forum

Teacher compensation was the top item in the Public School Forum of North Carolina’s Top 10 Education Issues for 2015 report released Wednesday.

Keith Poston, the Raleigh education think tank’s executive director, pointed to how the average salary for North Carolina’s teachers had dropped 14.7 percent from 1999 to 2013. He said that while the 2014 raises approved by the General Assembly were a step in the right direction, teacher compensation remains the state’s top education issue because there is so much more to be done.

“This is not something that happened overnight,” Poston said of the state’s drop in ranking for average teacher pay. “It didn’t happen over the last four years. It’s going to take a sustained multi-prong approach to get to where we need to be to attract and retain the very best teachers.”

Recommendations for how to “build a principled path on teacher compensation” include:

• Develop highly paid opportunities for teachers to advance in their careers without leaving the classroom.

• Maintain the strong upward salary trend for North Carolina’s teachers.

• Target pay incentives to priority areas shown by research to have greatest effect, including possibly restoring extra pay for new teachers who get master’s degrees.

• Increase salaries for veteran teachers “who got very meager boosts” last year compared to early-career educators

Other issues and recommendations on the top 10 list include reevaluating how the new A-F school performance grades are calculated, retain what is working with the current Common Core standards, limit the use of vouchers for private schools to disadvantaged students and restore student growth funding in the state’s base budget.

Go to http://t.co/ch1LehOyth to view the full report.