NC Teacher: Gov. McCrory's Misleading Claims on Teacher Pay

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With TV ads starting to fill up the airwaves, voters are being bombarded with all kinds of claims about teacher pay and public schools. As one High School teacher in Winston-Salem points outs, Gov. McCrory's ads are very misleading and paint an all too-rosy picture of public education. 

From Stuart Egan's op-ed: 

And that top salary for new teachers is barely over $50,000.

So, how can the average pay in North Carolina be over $50,000 when no one can really make much over $50,000 per year as a new teacher in his or her entire career unless they all become nationally certified (which takes a monetary investment by the teacher to get)?

Easy. He is counting all of the veteran teachers’ current salaries in that figure. The very people whose salaries simply disgust the governor and the General Assembly to the point that they had to take measures to “lower” them are actually being used to tout the governor’s bold statement.

Furthermore, the governor is counting on local supplements. This comes in the face of a budget that is allocating less money to the central offices of each school system for administrative costs. Now each county has to raise more money to essentially offset those costs and also allow for local supplements. And not all localities provide the same supplements. Just look at Arika Herron’s story in the Aug. 7 Journal, “Schools facing salary pinch.”

Any veteran teacher who is making above $50,000 based on seniority, graduate pay and national boards are gladly counted in this figure. It simply drives up the current average pay. But when these veteran teachers who have seniority, graduate pay and possibly national certification retire (and many are doing that early at 25 years), then the very people who seem to be a “burden” on the educational budget leave the system.

In reality, that would drive the average salary down as time goes on. But McCrory is only talking about the right here and right now.

Remember the word “average” is a very easy word to manipulate. In this case, the very teachers who are driving the “average” salary up are the very people that the state wants to not have in a few years. There will then be a new average. It can’t possibly be over $50,000 then, if current trends keep going.

And that extra money spent on education touted on the website? Of course there is more money spent now than in the past. North Carolina is one of the fastest-growing states in the country. More people mean more students to educate. But it is interesting that the per-pupil expenditure under McCrory is lower than it was before the Great Recession.

In truth, McCrory’s numbers do not add up. That is, unless Sen. Jerry Tillman introduces a new math track in schools that allows those numbers to create a sum that defies logic.


  1. BETTY ROSEMAN's avatar
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    This ad is in such bad faith. NC has shown contempt to teachers making over $50,000<br /> and limited pay raises to exclude them. Veteran teachers with national board are targeted and bullied into retirement. The last school in which I worked had 80% of its teachers with less than 5 yrs experience. Education in our state does not value the principles of the national board because they foster professionalism and service to students and community. Individual integrity is lost for fear of retaliation. Public education is under assault from within and without.
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