ICYMI: Multiple reports show the damage done to North Carolina’s once-great education system

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WalletHub report finds NC to be the second-worst state for teachers, DPI report finds teacher turnover at a five-year high as thousands leave for better pay, and a National Council on Teacher Quality report finds that even the highest-paid NC teachers rank near the bottom in lifetime earnings

RALEIGH - Nearly lost amid the wave of hurricane coverage last week, three new reports released over the past week show the damage done to North Carolina’s education system by lawmakers who refuse to make a meaningful investment in teacher pay and classroom spending. As a result, teacher pay in the Tarheel State ranks 42nd in the nation -- but these latest reports show just how bad things have gotten for North Carolina educators.

WalletHub report finds North Carolina to be the second-worst state for teachers

Last year, personal finance website WalletHub compiled nationwide data on teacher pay and classroom spending and found North Carolina to be the worst state in the county for teachers. This year, North Carolina moved up on the list -- all the way to second-worst.

According to WRAL, “North Carolina ranked very low in three areas: 43rd in teacher safety, which is determined by the number of teachers who say they were threatened by a student in the past year, 46th in per-pupil spending, and 49th in teacher salary increases over the last decade.”

NC DPI report finds teacher turnover at a five-year high

The Department of Public Instruction’s annual report on teacher turnover found that more and more educators are leaving their jobs for better-paying teaching positions in other states, or leaving the profession altogether.

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, “with more than 14,250 teachers leaving their positions, the turnover rate inched closer to 15 percent, reaching its highest level in the past five years.”

In Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools, “the district’s turnover rate was 16.5 percent, compared with a state average of 14.8 percent. The last time CMS topped 16 percent was 2002-03, when the rate was 16.8 percent.”

NCTQ report finds that North Carolina teachers rank near the bottom in lifetime earnings

A new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality found that educators in three counties (Wake, Mecklenburg and Guilford) received big pay raises thanks to local supplements passed by Democratic county governments. But even with these raises, the lifetime earnings for North Carolina teachers is still much, much less than in other states.

According to the News & Observer, “teachers in Wake, Guilford and Charlotte-Mecklenburg would still make less over 30 years than all but a few of their peers in the 110 districts surveyed. Charlotte-Mecklenburg teachers ranked 101st in terms of lifetime earnings, adjusted for the cost of living, at $1.54 million. In contrast, teachers in the Boston Public Schools were No. 1 with adjusted lifetime earnings of $2.53 million.”

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