RALEIGH – After North Carolina Democrats spent last week crowing about low teacher pay in the state, a common refrain from the Left as they chirp from the sidelines as a minority, Republicans in the legislature are pointing out some key facts that contribute to quite a different story.
“Teachers starting their eleventh year in North Carolina public schools received a $10,380 pay raise since 2014, a 32% salary increase provided by the Republican-led General Assembly.
The nonpartisan Fiscal Research Division at the North Carolina General Assembly provided data comparing teacher pay today to the 2013-2014 school year, prior to four consecutive salary increases funded by the state legislature.
As of March this year, North Carolina had the fastest rising teacher pay in the nation since 2014.”
That won’t be good enough for the Democrats, of course. But then again, nothing the Republicans do is ever quite good enough when it comes to politics. And it is all about politics. The Democrats record on teacher pay before Republicans took control is nothing to be proud of. While they would point to higher rankings nationally, the actual numbers are dwarfed by what the fiscally responsible Republican majorities have been able to accomplish.
How can objective observers look at the below chart and claim that Republicans have been stiffing teachers?
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The estimated average teacher salary in North Carolina is now $50,906 and will rise to $53,394 in 2018-19, according to the Fiscal Research Division data.
Does that sound like a “livable wage” to you?
Starting teacher pay in North Carolina is now $35,000.
Teachers in their 25th year received a $8,480 pay increase since 2014, while teachers in their 30th year received a $5,530 raise over the same period.
A fourth-year educator, who started teaching when Republicans began their streak of salary increases in 2014, makes $6,500 more per year than in 2013.
The numbers don’t lie. Republican State Lawmakers have been ratcheting up teacher pay in a big way. If Democrats really want to ride a wave into the 2018 elections, they may have to look for another campaign issue.