Under the Dome

Big 2014 raises but low career earnings for NC teachers

Teachers in North Carolina’s three largest school systems saw some of the nation’s biggest pay raises last school year, but they still rank near the bottom in terms of lifetime pay, according to a new survey released Tuesday.

Teachers in the Wake County, Guilford and Charlotte-Mecklenburg school systems saw average pay raises of more than 5 percent during the 2014-15 school year, according to a report by the National Council on Teacher Quality. Wake County led the list of 110 school systems, which included the nation’s 50 largest districts, with an average pay raise of 6.4 percent.

North Carolina districts accounted for three of the eight districts surveyed that had raises of more than 5 percent last year. The average pay increase among the 110 districts was 0.6 percent.

The new report comes out after the General Assembly approved an average 7 percent pay raise for teachers for the 2014-15 school year. The biggest raises went for less experienced teachers.

But even with last year’s state pay raise, teachers in Wake, Guilford and Charlotte-Mecklenburg would still make less over 30 years than all but a few of their peers in the 110 districts surveyed.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg teachers ranked 101st in terms of lifetime earnings, adjusted for the cost of living, at $1.54 million. In contrast, teachers in the Boston Public Schools were No. 1 with adjusted lifetime earnings of $2.53 million.

Wake County was ranked No. 102 and Guilford was No. 103 in adjusted lifetime earnings.

On Monday, WalletHub released its own report calling North Carolina the second worst state to be a teacher.