Editorial: Reality is 'average' teacher pay bypasses most N.C. teachers
Monday, Aug. 29, 2016: Most teachers don't make $50,000 as campaign rhetoric from Gov. Pat McCrory and GOP legislative leaders about "average" pay might suggest.Posted — Updated
Public school teachers in North Carolina must be sitting pretty. At least it’s easy to get that impression from the political ads and campaign statements.
Ads for Republican incumbents tout that they’ve given North Carolina public school teachers an “average” raise of 4.7 percent and increased “average” pay above $50,000.
Teachers should be happy and we should feel education is getting a priority focus to lift our schools from the bottom tier in the national rankings.
Why then do many people – school leaders, teachers and parents – remain skeptical?
Because North Carolina is not Lake Wobegon. Not all teachers get the “average” pay increase and a majority of them are NOT paid above the average. An "average" calculation can be misleading.
The reality is that “average pay” is NOT what the “average teacher” (in terms of job experience and duties) receives – not even close.
The supplements aren’t paid across the board either – teachers can receive more, or less, depending upon experience, additional educational achievement or duties.
How is the $50,000 “average” teacher pay explained? Simple, some say. Just take last year’s statewide average pay, $47,931, add the 4.7 percent “average” pay increase in the state budget – and there it is.
But it is just not that simple. There are as many as 10 other variables that go into teacher pay. And those variables can be very different depending on the school district, a teacher’s experience, and more.
Wonder what the "average teacher pay is just using state funds?
Wonder what the "median" teacher pay is using just state funds?
We’ll keep asking and searching for answers.
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