Under the Dome

NC teacher pay remains below national average, survey says

Average teacher pay in the state ranked 47th in the nation in 2013-14, according to the latest National Education Association report.

The average salary of $44,990 was recorded the year before average 7 percent raises teachers received in the 2014-15 budget.

Senate budget writers used various national ranking reports to push for 11 percent teacher raises last year. A budget compromise settled on the average 7 percent.

The NEA report estimated that the 2014-15 average teacher salary in the state will be $47,783, good enough for 42nd place, according to the N.C. Association of Educators. The report put the estimate for per pupil expenditures at $8,620 this year, lower than Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia, and other states in the region.

The state Democratic Party blasted Gov. Pat McCrory and Republicans in the legislature for the state’s continued poor showing in the rankings.

“Today’s rankings prove that Gov. McCrory and his political allies in Raleigh have failed our teachers and students,” Democratic Party Chairwoman Patsy Keever said in a statement.

“Gov. McCrory assured teachers that they would see a meaningful raise and promised parents that he would act in slowing the exodus of our best educators to other states. Instead, North Carolina remains one of the worst states for teacher pay and the Governor’s new budget proposal would make education the lowest priority in our state in more than a generation.”

McCrory’s education adviser took issue with the NEA focus on money rather than results.

“The union’s press release is a typical one, focused on adults and money without a single mention of student outcomes,” Eric Guckian said in a statement. “Gov. McCrory is leading a change that makes targeted investments in education spending that has students, not special interests, at the center of the equation.”