Teacher Pay

The Early Childhood Workforce Index
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment

North Carolina K-12 teachers have received a lot of attention lately, and that's leaving early-childhood educators to feel a bit left out.

NC State House
Courtesy of NCGA

Republican legislative leaders released their plan for the state budget late Monday. The bill includes a 6.5 percent average pay hike for teachers, raises for full-time state employees, and a $60 million fund for continued Hurricane Matthew recovery.

A sign indicates a no-student drop-off zone with Wake County public school buses in the background.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

More than 15,000 North Carolina teachers traveled to Raleigh last week for a teacher rally. The event brought national attention to the state’s education budget and teachers’ demands for more resources and support staff to increase student safety.

Supporters of raising pay for teachers began to march in downtown Raleigh on Wednesday morning.
James Morrison / WUNC

Thousands of North Carolina teachers march through the streets of Raleigh on Wednesday to call for higher pay and for more resources for their students. The march is part of the wave of educator-led activism across the nation in backlash to federal and state-level education budget cuts.

classroom
Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

Nearly 40 school districts in North Carolina will close schools on Wednesday, May 16. That is the opening day for the legislative session, and thousands of teachers from around the state plan to protest in Raleigh for better pay and working conditions. The demonstration comes as teachers strike and walk out in other states around the country, like Arizona, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

Third grade teachers, Brittney Dennis, left, and Sabrina Peacock.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Thousands of North Carolina teachers will attend a rally at the Capitol Wednesday. They will call on legislators to restore funding and initiatives for teachers and students that were eliminated in the past decade.  Brittney Dennis and Sabrina Peacock are two third-grade teachers at different stages of their careers.  The two sat down to talk about the many cuts they have seen through the years, and why they plan to march. 

Teachers walk in together as they arrive for work at San Marcos Elementary School Friday, May 4, 2018, in Chandler, Ariz., after a statewide teachers strike ended. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Matt York / AP

This Wednesday more than 10,000 teachers are expected in Raleigh on the General Assembly's opening day to demand better pay and working conditions.

Veteran educators say those demands are about restoring education funding to what it was before the recession hit and a wave of Republican-led policies and tax cuts dismantled their benefits.

Teachers have adopted the tagline: "It's Personal."

Teacher in classroom with students.
woodleywonderworks / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/auPuAq

North Carolina teachers are expected to get a raise of $891 this year, on average, which would bump the state up two spots when compared to other states.

Elizabeth Ferguson Hollifield, a teacher from Princeton W.Va., holds a sign as she walks to a teacher rally Monday, March 5, 2018.
Tyler Evert / AP

Teachers in Arizona are protesting for higher pay, while Kentucky educators rallied at their state capitol this Friday. The same day, Oklahoma teachers ended a 9-day walkout, rivaling the length of time West Virginia teachers left their classrooms last month. Distressed teachers seeking higher pay and better funding for education have created a movement in red states, leaving some to wonder, will North Carolina teachers join in next?

File photo of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. The governor addressed the Emerging Issues Forum on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 at North Carolina State University.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper is urging business leaders to pressure the General Assembly to make funding for education a higher priority.

Nchole Yeo / Flickr

Thousands of teachers across the state are receiving bonuses this January as a reward for helping improve their students’ test scores. That includes pre-existing bonuses for some specialized high school teachers* and third grade reading teachers, as well as brand new bonuses in certain core subjects in elementary and middle school.

Wake County bus driver Auh Murel Wright greets a student before the afternoon trip home. Wright is among many school-based employees who struggle to make ends meet on their current salaries.
Jess Clark / WUNC

Now that the state House has released its plan for teacher pay, there are three plans before lawmakers as they continue budget negotiations. Here are the basic differences:

State Senate chamber
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

The North Carolina Senate released their $22.9 billion spending plan earlier this week. The budget has significant implications for the state’s education system. It shifts how teacher raises are allocated and proposes a $600 million increase in education spending.

Teachers in North Carolina have seen pay raises
www.audio-luci-store.it / Flickr

North Carolina has leapfrogged some states in rankings of teacher pay.

Teachers here received an average pay of $49,837 last year, according to the National Education Association. While that’s good enough to move this state from ranking 41 to ranking 35, it still lags the national average by $9,000.

Millbrook history teacher Brian Schneiderwind had his AP U.S. History class go classroom to classroom to get their peer preregistered.
Jess Clark / WUNC

About 9 percent of the state's teachers left North Carolina's public schools in the 2015-2016 school year, according to a draft report from the Department of Public Instruction. Teachers with less than three years of experience were more likely to leave the classroom than their more seasoned counterparts.

Attorney General Roy Cooper's campaign ads attack Governor Pat McCrory's record on education funding.
The Roy Cooper Campaign

Education is shaping up to be the issue in the battle for the governor’s mansion. Weeks after Republican Governor Pat McCrory released his TV ads touting the rise in teacher pay under his leadership, Democratic candidate Roy Cooper released his own TV ads attacking the incumbent governor’s record on education.

But how do the claims in Cooper’s TV spots stack up against the facts? Let’s take a look.

Newly hired teachers and staff attend an orientation for Wake County Public Schools. Wake County teachers make more than most teachers in North Carolina.
Jess Clark / WUNC

School districts across the state say they have somewhat fewer teacher vacancies going into this school year than they did in 2015. But  many students will still have substitutes for the first weeks of school.

This image from the governor's office shows teacher pay increasing starting in the 2013-2014 school year.
Office of Governor Pat McCrory

Governor Pat McCrory has made the rise of teacher pay a centerpiece of his bid for reelection. The image above shows the upward climb in average teacher salaries since the 2013-2014 school year. It has appeared behind the governor at public events, including the signing of the 2016-2017 state budget.

Teachers in North Carolina have seen pay raises
www.audio-luci-store.it / Flickr

In their budget compromise, lawmakers have allocated millions of dollars to give certain teachers bonuses for how well their students perform. Top third-grade reading teachers would earn thousands of dollars extra, and Advanced Placement teachers would receive $50 for each of their students who passes an AP or other advanced test.

photo of the North Carolina Senate
Government & Heritage Library, State Library of NC / Flickr

The North Carolina Senate reveals its version of the state's budget today.

Like the House plan, the Senate proposal raises teacher pay and other state employee salaries. And a Senate plan to change tuition structure at some state universities, including three historically black colleges and universities, is creating controversy. Plus calls for repeal of House Bill 2 continue with a rally of small business owners.

Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC capitol reporter Jorge Valencia about the latest.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

On this episode of the WUNCPolitics podcast, we play a rousing game of "Big Deal, Or No Deal?"

We will analyze Senator Phil Berger's plan for teacher raises, the House bill that revives the Coal Ash Management Commission, the presidential election in North Carolina, and much more.

Photo: Senate Leader Phil Berger, a Republican from Rockingham County
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

A plan introduced Wednesday at the legislature by Senate Republicans would increase average annual teacher pay, and move North Carolina to the top of compensation in the southeast. The plan is significant in size, and represents a bargaining chip in the ongoing budget negotiations between the Senate and House.

The chambers of the NC State House
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

House lawmakers have given final approval to a budget proposal. The plan passed its most important vote 103 to 12 Wednesday night with bipartisan support. 

Teachers in North Carolina have seen pay raises
www.audio-luci-store.it / Flickr

House lawmakers revealed a preliminary budget proposal Monday that gives pay raises to teachers based on individual experience.

Newly hired teachers and staff attend an orientation for Wake County Public Schools. Wake County teachers make more than most teachers in North Carolina.
Jess Clark / WUNC

The state's average teacher pay inched up to 41 in national rankings, according to a yearly report from the National Association of Educators. Last year North Carolina ranked 42nd.

The state's salary didn't increase significantly from the year prior, but it pulled ahead of Louisiana, which saw a sharp decline in teacher pay.

Flickr/Washington State House

 

Governor Pat McCrory announced his $22.3 billion proposed budget plan this morning, which represents a 2.8 percent increase in total state spending. He shared key provisions of his proposal, like an average 5 percent pay increase for teachers, but he will not release his full, detailed budget proposal until next week.
 

Pat McCrory
James Willamor / Flickr Creative Commons

Governor Pat McCrory proposed a 5 percent average pay increase for North Carolina teachers and a
 a 3.5 percent average bonus.

Perils And Promise, Rural Education, Vance Public Schools
Leoneda Inge

Rural areas of North Carolina are not seeing the benefits of the economic recovery that are apparent in places like the Triangle, Triad or Charlotte.

The same is true for rural school districts. Their dropout rates are significantly higher than their urban counterparts, and their surrounding communities have higher rates of unemployment. 

WUNC recently examined one rural district, Vance County Schools, to understand how it is preparing students for higher education and the changing workforce. 

UNC-Chapel Hill senior Jailen Wallis (center) loves the idea of teaching, but the pay and the working conditions loomed too large as drawbacks to the profession.
Courtesy of Jailen Wallis

 UNC-Chapel Hill senior Jailen Wallis has always been tempted to become a high school English teacher.

June Atkinson is the North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Jeff Tiberii

State Superintendent June Atkinson is asking lawmakers to consider a 10 percent raise for teachers across the board. Atkinson delivered her proposals to a group of lawmakers Wednesday.

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