May 8, 2024 - News

North Carolina's teachers' pay rank fell last year

Map showing average teacher salaries by U.S. state for the 2022-23 school year. The average U.S. teacher salary was $69,544. California, New York and Massachusetts had the highest average salaries at over $90,000 while salaries were lowest in West Virginia, Florida and South Dakota at around $53,000.
Data: National Education Association; Map: Alice Feng/Axios

Teachers in the state made an average $56,559 during the 2022-2023 school year, according to an analysis by the National Education Association.

  • North Carolina's average teacher salary ranked 38th among all states, a drop from No. 36 the previous year.

Why it matters: Raises for teachers have been a priority for North Carolina politicians during recent legislative sessions — and the analysis shows most states are increasing the average pay to teachers.

State of play: In the state's last budget, passed last fall, teachers were given on average a raise of 7% over the next two years — though the largest portion of the raises went to beginning teacher salaries, which are set to be $41,000 in the next school year.

  • Teachers have long campaigned for higher raises from the state legislature. Outgoing state Superintendent Catherine Truitt has partially blamed the state's pay structure for some teacher attrition.

Yes, but: There seems to be interest in additional raises for teachers among legislators.

  • Gov. Roy Cooper's budget proposal calls for an 8.5% raise for educators.
  • And Republican House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters earlier this year the legislature could consider raises for teachers and state employees, though he didn't give an estimate of how much.
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