The News & Observer had a piece on Wake County’s recent increase in its local supplement to teacher salaries. The article includes “praise” from the left-wing group WakeUp Wake County, as well as “criticism” from this article by Civitas Institute Senior Education Analyst Bob Luebke.
Luebke’s criticism focuses not on the pay supplement itself, but rather focuses on the structure of the pay scale:
Teacher pay continues to be an issue because our perceived solutions are divorced from reality. Teachers, like students, are different from one another. And, like every other profession, there are good and not-so-good teachers. Rigid adherence to salary schedules only makes teachers the victims of a pay system they thought was designed to protect them.
Moreover, Luebke’s article provides far more context for the supplemental pay than does the N&O. For instance, what percentage of full-time Wake Co. teachers earn less than $40,000?
The answer is 1 percent.
The average Wake Co. teacher salary is about $50,000 per year. Additionally, the state kicks in on average more than $15,000 per teacher for benefits such as social security, retirement and health insurance.
But more importantly, as Luebke’s article notes:
WCPSS teachers deserve a salary structure that better reflects their actual performance. The WCPSS pay plan makes sure that doesn’t happen. It pays teachers – and other staff – largely according to years of experience and professional qualifications. Truth be told, neither of these factors is tied to student achievement, which the last time I checked was the end goal of teaching.