Phil Berger’s “Historic” Spin on Teacher Pay – Empty and Deliberate

From Phil Berger’s Twitter account in May of 2014:

Berger1

From the July 31st edition of the New York Times:

The Republican-controlled Senate’s 32-to-13 vote came after weeks of tense negotiations that divided the Republican Party and provoked intraparty accusations of political grandstanding. The Senate was expected to hold its final vote on the budget early Friday, clearing the way for the House of Representatives, which the Republicans also control, to consider it.

Senate Republicans framed the measure as historic, largely because it includes $282 million to increase teacher salaries (https://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/01/us/north-carolina-teachers-may-see-raise-in-budget.html) .

And now four years later:

North Carolina ranks 37th in the nation for average teacher pay, according to estimates released Monday by the National Education Association.

The estimate may be revised later based on updated data. Last year, NEA first estimated that North Carolina was 35th in the nation for teacher pay, but it revised the numbers to show that N.C. was 39th last year.

NEA’s report, which details everything from teacher pay to school enrollment and funding by state, shows North Carolina’s average teacher salary is $50,861 for the current school year. That’s about $9,600 less than the national average teacher pay of $60,483, according to the report.

Last month, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction estimated that the state’s average teacher pay has reached $51,214 this year. It’s unclear why the state education department’s salary estimate differs from NEA’s.

Among the 12 states in the Southeast, North Carolina currently ranks sixth, according to NEA’s latest estimates. The State Board of Education has set a goal to become No. 1 in the Southeast.

The salary figures represent the average gross salary before deductions for things such as Social Security, retirement and insurance and do not take into account cost-of-living differences among the states.

NEA’s report also estimates that North Carolina is ranked 39th in the nation in per-pupil spending this year. The state is spending $9,528 per student compared with the U.S. average of $11,934.

Last year, NEA first estimated that North Carolina ranked 43rd in per-pupil spending but revised the numbers to show that N.C. was 39th last year as well.

NEA has produced the report for more than 70 years (https://www.wral.com/nc-ranks-37th-in-nation-for-teacher-pay-39th-in-per-pupil-spending/17504331/?version=amp&__twitter_impression=true).

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