FALLING BEHIND: Per Pupil Spending Fell Last Year, NC Ranks 46th
New rankings from the NEA show that North Carolina's per pupil spending actually fell from $8,632 last year to $8,620 in 2014-2015. North Carolina continues to rank at the bottom in most measures, ranking 46th in per pupil spending nationwide. The new rankings factor in the pay raise to teachers last year, but reflect the trend of slashing education budgets that politicians have pursued over the last few years.
Over the last decade, North Carolina ranks dead last nationally for raising teacher salaries, according to the NEA report.
Public school teachers in the state saw salaries drop by 17.4 percent on average between 2003-04 and 2013-14 when their pay is adjusted for inflation, the report states. The national average over that period was a 3.5 percent drop, and the closest state to North Carolina was Indiana, which saw average salaries drop by 12.9 percent, adjusted for inflation.
In terms of per-pupil spending, the NEA report ranks North Carolina 46th in the United States in 2014-15, up from 47th in 2013-14. But spending actually drops from $8,632 to $8,620 per student from last year to this year, according to the report.
“The rankings once again show the troubling trend of falling per-student funding in our public schools,” Ellis said. “Instead of righting the ship, North Carolina’s per-pupil expenditure continues to drop. If we are going to get serious about what works, we must get serious about modern textbooks in the classrooms, more one-on-one interaction with teachers and students and a quality teacher in every class.”