Welcome back! As many know from reading my blog post last week, I am focusing on the hardships that public schools teachers have been facing throughout North Carolina for many years and concerned with the challenges they will continue to face in the future with job security and salary injustices. Out of 50 states and the District of Columbia, North Carolina ranks second worst for job opportunity and compensation, according to an article from WECT.com. Currently, the national average teacher salary for 2014-2015 is $57,379. In North Carolina, it is $47,783, according to estimates by the National Education Association (NEA).
This low ranking is not new to North Carolina and is not forecasted to change dramatically over the next few years, either. The state has been constantly ranked as among the lowest nationally for teacher salary compensations in grades ranging from prekindergarten to twelfth grade. These numbers are creating wave effects that expand across the board. Teachers, both veterans and those with less than two years experience alike, are choosing to leave a career field that they thouroughly enjoy to seek better paying employment elsewhere. Former North Carolina teacher Sandra Leigh stated,
“I know teachers who really want to be successful and do what they are taught to do and have their heart in it for the kids and they get no reward, none. In fact, they’re punished, not just by salary, not just by buying things for the classroom, but by no respect for the job that we do” (WECT.com).
This increased turnover rate then creates additional stress for the teachers who decide to stay. Teachers across the nation should not be forced to abandon a career they passionately love and should be recognized and rewarded for the hard work and time they invest in the children they teach. What are your thoughts on this issue? Should North Carolina teachers receive better paying salaries and receive bonuses? Please leave your comments below!
Next week, I will discuss the current debate within the Senate and House over proposed annual salary increases for teachers in NC. Stay tuned!