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Even With Raise, NC Teachers Still 9.4 Percent Below 2009 Earnings

Teacher in classroom with students.
Flickr - Creative Commons -

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.

The 1.8 percent raise will bring average teacher pay to $50,861 for all teachers in the state. It moves North Carolina from No. 39 in the nation to No. 37, including the District of Columbia, according to the National Education Association.

But the increase of 1.8 percent, which amounts to less than $100 per school-calendar month, ranks as the 19th biggest average raise compared with other states. So in many ways it only keeps pace with other states. That's why North Carolina jumped just two spots in the national rankings.

Furthermore, when adjusting for inflation, teachers actually earn 9.4 percent less today than they did in 2009, according to NEA. That's the 10th biggest drop in the nation.

"Our students deserve public schools that have the resources they need to be successful and educators who are respected like the professionals they are," Mark Jewell, the president of the N.C. Association of Educators, wrote in a statement. "Instead of prioritizing corporate boardrooms, our elected leaders should be making critical investments in our classrooms."

Teacher pay has been a political focus point for years, with both Republicans and Democrats blaming each other for not moving quickly enough on the issue.

The interactive chart below shows teacher pay rankings by state. Note, it does not include the District of Columbia. North Carolina ranks 37th when factoring in D.C. and 36th when comparing just the 50 states.

Jason deBruyn is the WUNC health reporter, a beat he took in 2020. He has been in the WUNC newsroom since 2016.
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