by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
North Carolina is again national news, this time for the teacher protest planned by the North Carolina Association of Educators. Here’s the Wall Street Journal’s take:
Republican House Speaker Tim Moore said teachers aren’t giving the legislature credit for increasing teacher pay for the past four years, with another increase scheduled for next year.
“When we peel back the political rhetoric on teacher pay, the facts indicate North Carolina educators received considerable gains,” he said in a statement.
The average teacher salary in North Carolina is an estimated $50,861 this year, compared with a national average of $60,483, according to an April report from the National Education Association. North Carolina ranks 37th in teacher pay, according to the report.
By the way, separately from the WSJ piece, our Terry Stoops has pointed out that when the NEA’s North Carolina ranking is adjusted for cost of living and other key items, North Carolina ranks higher.
But the NEA ranking does not include benefits or deferred compensation, account for differences in the experience level of teachers and, most importantly, adjust for cost of living. Using C2ER cost-of-living indices for 2017, I found that North Carolina’s national rank jumps to 29th in the nationdue to the state’s relatively low cost of living. Last year, North Carolina’s average adjusted salary was 33rd.
Back to the Wall Street Journal.
Terry Stoops, a former public-school teacher who researches education for Raleigh’s libertarian-leaning John Locke Foundation, said the North Carolina rally is different from those in other statesbecause it is unlikely to change public policy.
“People will harden their positions,” Mr. Stoops said. “The real motive here is to replace the Republican majority in the General Assembly.”
Welcome to the 2018 midterm election.