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Average Teacher Pay Surges to Nearly $55,000 in Senate Plan


According to the most current NEA data, North Carolina will climb 23 spots to 24th in the nation and number one in the Southeast under the Senate proposal.

Over the next two years, the plan will dramatically increase average teacher pay from $47,783 to $54,224, providing North Carolina public school teachers an average $4,700 permanent pay raise over the same period. This is on top of the generous teacher pay raises legislators passed in the 2014 and 2015 budgets.

“Just one month ago, Senate Republicans announced our support for Gov. McCrory’s goal to raise teacher pay to $50,000 on average – and we are proud this plan not only meets his goal, but exceeds it by almost $5,000,” said Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham.) “Our efforts to raise average teacher pay by almost $10,000 – over 20 percent – since the 2013-14 school year will make North Carolina the Southeast’s leader in teacher pay and encourage the best and brightest teachers to make a long-term commitment to our students and our state.”

The plan is part of efforts by Republican state leaders to restructure the archaic step system put in place by Democrats that required teachers to spend more than 30 years in the classroom before reaching the top of the pay scale. Under the new proposal, teachers will reach the top of the scale after just 15 years in the classroom – giving them an immediate, significant boost in their base pay along with far greater earnings potential over the course of their careers. Expert research (,%202014/Jacob%20Vigdor-Reform%20NC%20Educator%20Compensation%20Pay.pdf) like that conducted by the former director of the Ph.D. program in public policy at Duke University shows the plan proposed by Senate Republicans brings teacher compensation in line with how most other professionals are compensated.

The proposal would add $538 million to base teacher pay over the next two years in addition to providing a step increase to eligible teachers. Senate Republicans pledged to pay for the plan with recurring revenue sources and without a tax increase.

Senate Teacher Pay Plan By the Numbers:

New average teacher salary $54,224

Average teacher raise since 2013-14 $9,234

Projected teacher pay ranking in the Southeast 1

Projected teacher pay ranking in the nation 24

Number of years it will take to earn a $50,000 salary 15

Number of years it took to reach $50,000 under the Democrats’ plan 33

A teacher’s additional pay over a 30-year career $198,650


Average Teacher Pay Increase 2013-2017

Average Teacher Pay    /  Pay Increase    /     Percent Increase

2013-14 (Per NEA Rankings) $44,990 — —

Senate Plan 2016-17 $51,047                 $6,057           13.5%

Senate Plan 2017-18 $54,224                $9,234            20.5%

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