As mentioned throughout my analysis post, North Carolina continues to be ranked among the lowest in the nation for teacher salary. The state has an average of $45,967 per year compared to the national U.S. average of $ 51,354 per year. The issues that arise from these unjust salaries are numerous and raise questions as to whether students are able to obtain a quality education from within the education system. Although the graduation rate remain around 84 percent as seen in a recent article ((http://www.ncpublicschools.org/newsroom/news/2014-15/20140904-01), a lack of well experienced teachers places the future of education at risk.
Recently, the House and Senate established a new bill that mandates all teachers receive a small one-time raise with a small increase in annual salary. While this bill is a step in the right direction, it is not sustainable as many teachers feel the need to pay for school supplies out of pocket since many districts receive little to no funding towards materials. These teachers sometimes spend more than $500 dollars with an increasing number turning to funding websites for donations for pens, paper or computers. (http://www.cnbc.com/id/100952415). Furthermore, state officials dismissed raises for teachers with master degrees and ended the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program (NCTFP) which was used to recruit young students out of high school into education programs. (http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2014/09/low-teacher-pay-sets-back-nc-education).
The state desperately needs a major reevaluation of how the federal and state budgets are being spent and distributed with a large amount going directly towards increased salaries. This alone could potentially provide teachers with the salary needed to stay within North Carolina and teach without worrying about supporting themselves. Additionally, the NCTEP needs to be reestablished in order to replenish lost talent back into the school systems through encouraging young students to become well-educated teachers.The heart of education comes from teachers and staff within the community who play a vital role in educating and shaping the minds of future generations. North Carolina needs to push for greater acknowledgement of the importance of education and afford public school teachers the compensation they deserve, and need.
What are your thoughts? Could increasing salaries for teachers help solve the problem and decrease the teacher turnover rate in NC?