According to a recent report from the National Education Association, the average teacher salary in North Carolina is $47,819, good enough for 42nd place in the annual rankings of state average teacher salaries. According to the same report, the average teacher salary in the United States was $57,420.
Last year North Carolina teachers placed 47th on the same list. North Carolina’s improvement was larger than any other state and reflects the impacts of recent teacher raises.
The annual NEA report is widely publicized and most believe over the past two years North Carolina’s poor showing helped generate a statewide discussion on teacher salaries. In 2014-15 teachers received an average pay increase of 7 percent. In 2015-16, the average pay increase for teachers was 2.1 percent
What are we to make of the new results? It’s certainly an improvement. However we need to remember NEA slalary rankings are compiled from self-reported surveys with plenty of caveats about making comparisons; most of which are promptly ignored by the press. I’ve written on the shortcomings of using average national salaries and NEA teacher rankings.
The NEA report is a piece in a big puzzle on teacher pay. It’s good news but not the be-all people make it out to be. There is still plenty of work to do.