-26.5%: How Underpaid NC Teachers Really Are

Remember when Mark Johnson said that $35,000 was a good salary for teachers in parts of North Carolina because it was higher than the median income in those counties?

johnson salary

And there are others who say that teacher pay in NC should not be scrutinized because the “national average” argument is too mercurial to be a nationwide standard. Mitch Kokai’s article in EdNC.org entitled “Placing the ‘national average’ debate in context” tries to play that narrative and even states this:

“Note that the average North Carolina public school teacher makes significantly more money than the average private-sector worker. (This is true of average teachers nationwide compared to their private-sector peers as well.) Second, the average North Carolina public school teacher earns a paycheck much closer to the national private-sector average than his friends and neighbors working in this state’s private sector.”

There is a big omission in this argument. He compares teacher salaries to ALL private sector salaries. What he should have done is compare teacher salaries to others who HAVE COMPARABLE COLLEGE EDUCATED WORKERS. Such an omission is deliberate and an act of cherry-picking.

The Educational Policy Institute did such a comparison and summarized that data into one data rich map.


North Carolina is at -26.5%.

You can read the rest of the research here.