Regarding the March 11 news article “Clinton, in Durham visit, raps GOP for undermining education”: Hillary Clinton’s campaign statements on public education investments in North Carolina were grossly misinformed, particularly when it comes to teacher pay.
In fact, the erosion of public education funding Clinton referenced occurred under Democratic governors when teacher pay fell off the cliff. Prior to Gov. Pat McCrory’s assuming office, teachers had not received a meaningful pay raise in five years. Contrast that record to the more than $1 billion in new money McCrory has invested in teacher pay through his first term. Indeed, according to the National Education Association, the percentage increase in North Carolina teacher salaries from the 2013-14 to 2014-15 school year was the largest in the nation.
These investments raised starting salaries to a minimum of $35,000 and increased the state’s average teacher salary to $47,783. With the value of teacher employee benefits, ($15,600), average teacher compensation tops well over $60,000 for a 10-month contract, or about $5,000 per year more than last year.
North Carolina spends 57 percent of its state budget on education, far higher than the national average of 46 percent. As the numbers clearly demonstrate, McCrory has been prudently increasing education funding every year.
Senior Education Adviser to Gov. Pat McCrory