Raleigh, N.C. - New rankings of average teacher pay across all 50 states and the District of Columbia show that North Carolina teacher pay is increasing faster than any other state in the country.
Data from the National Education Association shows that North Carolina has moved up six spots in the rankings of average teacher salaries since the 2013-2014 school year, the single-biggest improvement of any state in the country. North Carolina has also seen the largest average gains in teacher pay in the country over that same time period, according to the data.
During the 2015-2016 school year, North Carolina’s average teacher salary of $47,985 ranked 41st in the nation. When the data is adjusted for cost-of-living, North Carolina ranks 33rd in the nation for teacher pay, according to preliminary analysis by the John Locke Foundation.
“Under Governor McCrory’s leadership, North Carolina teacher pay has increased faster than any other state in the country,” said Catherine Truitt, Governor McCrory’s senior education advisor. “We must continue this trend of improvement and adopt the governor’s strategic plan to raise average teacher pay to $50,000 plus benefits in order to make up for ground lost under previous governors to attract, retain and reward the best teachers.”
According to the National Education Association historical rankings, teacher pay in North Carolina fell behind more than any other state before Governor McCrory took office, falling from 19th to 47th in the nation between 2002 and 2013.
Based on the latest data, North Carolina would leapfrog to approximately 34th in the list if Governor McCrory’s proposal to raise average teacher pay to $50,000 is adopted by the General Assembly. Likewise, North Carolina would jump from 11th to 3rd among the Southeast states. In addition to raising average teacher pay, the governor’s proposal awards an average 3.5 percent bonus to teachers, with larger bonuses going to veteran teachers.
The data also reveals that North Carolina’s commitment to K-12 education is among the strongest in the nation, ranking 10th in the nation and 2nd in the southeast for state level of investment in education.