Low teacher pay and North Carolina’s position relative to other states are subjects much in the news lately. Numerous factors contribute to each of those situations. One factor is the cost of teacher benefits, specifically social security, retirement and hospitalization. For a basis of comparison, let’s look at a few numbers from FY 2014-15. A teacher with an average salary of $43,426 (10 months) would receive the following benefits:
Social Security 7.65% ($3,152)
Retirement — 15.21% ($6,605)
Hospitalization – $5,378
Total Benefits: $15,135
Adding the benefits listed means teacher compensation is actually $58,521.
Want some perspective?
State per pupil support for 2014-15: $5,716
State retirement benefits per teacher (15.21%) $6,605
The recently passed 2015-16 state budget included increases in the percentage allotted for retirement (15. 32%) and hospitalization ($5,471)that will push those figures even higher.
Of course teachers deserve fair wages. However, any fair discussion on teacher pay must also include the other side of the equation – benefits; a cost that is nearing $2 billion and has been missing from most discussions.