Under the Dome

Teacher pay above $50,000 still wouldn’t be NC’s best ever

Gov. Pat McCrory said his budget proposal released Wednesday would raise the average North Carolina teacher’s pay to $50,000 for the first time in state history.

McCrory’s budget isn’t guaranteed to pass – the budget process is a combined effort of the governor, the House and the Senate. But if the legislature agrees with McCrory’s suggestion, it will be the first time since the days of $5,000 salaries that the average North Carolina teacher’s annual income starts with a 5.

The hike to $50,000 would come from an average 5 percent raise. It would get teachers near their all-time peak in purchasing power — but not quite there.

For decades, according to the federal government’s National Center for Education Statistics, the average North Carolina teacher typically made more than $50,000 in today’s dollars.

The average teacher in 1989-90 made $27,883, according to the center, the equivalent of $50,802 today. In 1999-2000 it was $39,404, the equivalent of $54,491 today.

Just before the Recession, in 2007-08, it was $47,354, the equivalent of $52,375 today. At the height of the recession in 2009-10 it was $46,850, the equivalent of $51,163 today.

Doran: 919-836-2858; Twitter: @will_doran

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