Civitas Review

NCAE and teacher salaries

By | Posted in Education |

This morning’s News & Observer runs a story about an upcoming NCAE report chronicling teacher and staff job losses  and the slippage in educational quality — or at least the slippage as perceived by national groups that attempt to measure such elusive categories.  The story includes a graph showing how  NC average teacher salaries have lost ground relative to other states.

Some caveats on the graph. First, the data is compiled by the National Education Association, NCAE’s parent organization.  Second the use of average salary data has numerous shortcomings.  It  fails to account for regional variation in cost of living.  For example, higher salary levels in the northeast don’t necessarily equate with higher purchasing power.  Most importantly however, the NEA average salary figures do not include compensation for employee benefits,  which in many cases are substantial. 

My friend Terry Stoops of the John Locke Foundation  has done a good job in pointing this out. He has written persuasively on how accurate estimates of North Carolina teachers salaries should include compensation and also make considerations for years of experience.  Terry hasn't published his annual teacher salaries report yet.  However,  the 2009  report shows that when adjusted for pension contributions, teacher experience and cost of living, NC teacher salaries are about $4,000 above the national average and 14th highest in the nation.

Incorporating such consideration with this year's data will most certainly improve the relative position of NC average teacher salaries.

2 Comments on this post

  • Dick Baker says:
    Mar 10 at 11:36

    If all civil fines in NC go to schools and the lottery where is that money going? For example the departments of NCDENR,DOR,DMV,NCSHP. All them have civil fines they collect and it all go's to the school system. Where's all this money going and who's accountable for it!

  • C says:
    May 08 at 22:21

    What about the outrageous $500 a month to cover a spouse on the State Health Plan, or what about guaranteed step increases? I'm sorry, but when compared with other states, especially northern states, NC is still backwards. NC still treats teaching as a female job that only supplements her husbands professional income.

    Also, how can NC be ranked 14th when our pay has been frozen for three -going on four- years, while everything else has continued to rise. I'm pretty sure our providing power is going down.

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