Herald Sun reporter Greg Childress begins his deeply flawed article about subsidized teacher housing with a mention of “beginning teacher’s salary.”  He writes,

For Deja Young, the rent for an apartment near The Streets at Southpoint is a bit of stretch on her beginning teacher’s salary of about $35,000.

Young, a first-year math teacher at Southern School of Energy and Sustainability, pays about a $1,000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment in the bustling Southpoint area. That’s about $25 per month above the area’s $975 average for a similar apartment.

The problem is that beginning teachers in Durham County do not make about $35,000 a year.  That is the state minimum starting salary, but districts are free to add salary supplements to the base.  Most of them do and Durham does.

According to the Durham County Schools website, a teacher with a bachelor’s degree and no experience should start at $39,375 a year, and that does not include pay for additional duties.  (It also does not include benefits, but that is another matter.)

I suppose it is possible that Ms. Young did not receive a local supplement.  Last year, 23 of Durham’s 2,322 teachers did not receive one.  If that is the case, then Childress should have said so.  That would be an important aspect of the story.