As I have said before, I am the daughter of a public school teacher. This has allowed to see first hand how hard my mother works. During the school year, it’s not uncommon for her to spend more time at school than she does at home. During high school, even with all my various after-school activities, I would still be surprised if she was ever home before I was. I have had great teachers. Just like my mom, I see how hard they work. This is why it is so frustrating for me to see how little they are compensated for all that they do.
The average teacher salary in North Carolina is $45,933. This is approximately $10,000 less than the national average. However, starting pay is only around $30,800 and salaries have been frozen since 2009. In 2008, North Carolina ranked 27th for teacher pay. Nevertheless, because of the freeze and budget cuts, we have now slid down to 46th on that same list. Prior to the new budget passing, teachers could receive a ten percent pay raise by going back to school and getting their masters degrees. In addition, they could earn their National Board Certification and receive a twelve percent hike. However, the new budget will phase out this incentive. McCrory is trying to implement a merit pay system for teachers which will reward the top 25% a $500 raise and also convert all teacher contracts to one, two, or four years long. These short contracts will make it easier to fire teachers as well as making it harder for teachers to obtain tenure. North Carolina State University reported a 17% drop in teaching education majors. I feel as though this statistic illustrates how our government is actively discouraging students from going into the teaching field because they see it spiraling down into a bleak future. If the government wants an educated generation, they have to start with investing in the people who are willing to make that happen.