by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
Locke’s Bob Luebke takes a deep dive into the facts about teacher compensation in North Carolina according to NEA salary rankings. To review:
Overall, North Carolina teacher pay has improved despite periods of no or moderate pay increases
North Carolina ranks 34th nationally and 2nd in the Southeast in teacher pay
The increase in teacher benefits — specifically the rising cost of retirement benefits — is the biggest reason for the escalating costs of teacher compensation
Be informed as you hear cries that teachers aren’t treated with respect and aren’t paid enough.
An analysis of the data in the Appendix at the end of this article yields the following graphic. The columns reflect the increase in teacher pay — until about two years ago — as well as the growing cost of benefits. Over the last decade, teacher compensation has increased from $60,076 (2011) to $76,671 (2021), a fact which frequently gets left out of the discussion on teacher pay.