Teacher pay increases are frequently identified as one indicator of how much educators are valued. For the last several years, progressives and the liberal media have told everyone and their brother that Republicans fail to support the public schools and public school teachers.
The chart below above lists NC average teacher pay raises from 2005-06 to until 2016-17. Note that from 2005-06 until 2010-11 Democrats controlled the legislature, authored the education budget and pretty much determined teacher raises. In 2011-12 Republicans won control of the legislature and the ability to set budget priorities and teacher pay.
Democrats awarded pay raises to teachers in four of six budget years (2005-06 to 2010-11). Raises totaled 21.2 percent and averaged 3.5 percent over the six years. Twice during the period, teachers received no pay increases.
More recently, we find Republicans also awarded pay raises to teachers in four of six budgets since 2011-12. Raises totaled 15 percent, or about 2.5 percent annually over the six year period.
Both Democrats and Republicans had two budgets when teachers received no pay raise. Neither party has a monopoly on saying sorry, wait until next year.
If Republicans are waging a war on public education, teacher pay raises totalling 13.8 percent over the last three years are doing a good job of hiding their real intent.
Want to find out more? Read Getting Past the Rhetoric: Teacher Compensation.