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How North Carolina ranks among other states in average teacher pay

The following is a press release from the North Carolina Association of Educators

For the first time in history, the National Education Association (NEA) released today the salary portion only of its Annual Rankings of the State state’s report for 2017-18. North Carolina has made some gains, but still continues to lag behind in average teacher pay, both nationally and in the Southeast.

“Funding teacher salaries in North Carolina must remain a top priority for our lawmakers,” said NCAE President Mark Jewell. “In order to restore respect for the profession, and recruit and retain the best and most diverse teaching force for our students, the state must invest in professional salaries for all educators. The state must also fully restore programs such as Teaching Fellows and Teacher Cadet, and implement statewide the Teacher Assistant Tuition Scholarship initiative.”

The preliminary estimates or projections from last year ranked North Carolina 37th in average teacher pay in the U.S. and 6th in the Southeast. The final NEA rankings for 2017-18 place North Carolina at 34th with an average teacher salary of $51,231, 18 positions behind the national average of $60,462. As for its placement in the Southeast, the state ranks 4th, with Georgia, Kentucky, and Virginia ranking first, second, and third place respectively. Estimates for 2018-19 moves North Carolina 29th with an average teacher salary of $53,975 in the nation and 2nd in the Southeast (NOTE: Projected data is subject to change once the fiscal year ends).

Governor Cooper’s proposed education budget would move North Carolina substantially closer to the national average and closer to being tops in the Southeast.

NCAE is the state’s largest education advocacy organization for public school employees, and represents active, retired, and student members.


EdNC staff reporting relies on staff, interns, and columnists.