The Mooresville Tribune reports that Mooresville Graded School District’s 2015-16 Teacher of the Year is leaving the profession for a private sector job.

Mooresville Middle School social studies teacher Allen Stevens will leave immediately for a position at WGB Group in Mooresville.

But his departure is not indicative of the future of public education in North Carolina, as the article suggests. The North Carolina’s teacher turnover report indicates that most teachers leave their job to take a position in another school district, retire, or due to personal reasons. Rather, it is symptom of a system of compensation that pays exceptional teachers the same as mediocre ones.

Unfortunately, it appears that Mooresville Graded School District Superintendent Mark Edwards is using Stevens’ departure as an opportunity to take shots at the NC General Assembly (NCGA).  According to the article,

Edwards noted that teachers in North Carolina have gone without a significant pay raise for several years, and while there was a two percent increase and many received a one-time bonus of $750, much of that was only for beginning teachers.

The truth is that, according to the NCGA’s non-partisan Fiscal Research Division, teachers received an average 7 percent pay increase in 2014, the largest average percentage increase since 2006.

Moreover, had Mr. Stevens remained in the system for two more years, he would have received a $3,000 a year pay increase, not accounting for changes to the state salary schedule that may occur during that period.