Pay Raises, Education Funding Keeps Teachers in Classrooms
Educators STILL Don’t Have This Year’s Raises Because of Gov.’s Veto
Raleigh, N.C. — The number of teachers leaving the profession has hit a four-year low, according to new data from the Department of Public Instruction.
The annual “State of the Teaching Profession” report found 7.5% of teachers left the profession in the 2018–19 school year, compared with 9% in the 2015–16 school year. The drop in turnover shows teachers are staying in classrooms and gaining valuable experience.
Republican-led budgets have increased teacher pay 20% over the last five years, which is the third-highest in the country. Average teacher pay in North Carolina is now $54,000 — second highest in the region. Governor Roy Cooper has vetoed every single teacher pay raise the General Assembly has sent him — including a 9.9% raise during the last budget cycle.
This year’s state budget Governor Cooper vetoed included a 3.9% raise for educators. After Senate Republicans negotiated with their Democratic colleagues, they offered a 4.9% raise plus a $1,000 bonus. The Democrats refused the offer because Governor Cooper wouldn’t sign any budget unless it included Medicaid expansion.
Senator Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said, “According to the NCAE’s own parent organization, Republican budgets have given North Carolina teachers the third-highest pay raise in the entire country over the last five years.
“It’s no surprise, then, that higher pay has resulted in higher retention. Teachers should have already received their sixth and seventh consecutive pay raises, but Governor Cooper vetoed that stand-alone pay raise bill.”