North Carolina teachers will see their average pay surge to nearly $55,000 for the first time in state history under a plan recently announced by Senate Republicans. If the proposal becomes law, average teacher pay will be up almost $10,000 – more than 20 percent – since the 2013-14 school year.
According to the most current NEA data, North Carolina will climb 23 spots to 24th in the nation and number one in the Southeast under the Senate proposal.
Over the next two years, the plan will dramatically increase average teacher pay from $47,783 to $54,224, providing North Carolina public school teachers an average $4,700 permanent pay raise over the same period. This is on top of the generous teacher pay raises legislators passed in the 2014 and 2015 budgets.
The plan is part of efforts by Republican state leaders to restructure the archaic step system put in place by Democrats that required teachers to spend more than 30 years in the classroom before reaching the top of the pay scale. Under the new proposal, teachers will reach the top of the scale after just 15 years in the classroom – giving them an immediate, significant boost in their base pay along with far greater earnings potential over the course of their careers. Expert research like that conducted by the former director of the Ph.D. program in public policy at Duke University shows the plan proposed by Senate Republicans brings teacher compensation in line with how most other professionals are compensated.
The proposal would add $538 million to base teacher pay over the next two years in addition to providing a step increase to eligible teachers. Senate Republicans pledged to pay for the plan with recurring revenue sources and without a tax increase.