With midterm elections almost 6 months away this unfavorable teacher salary data was inevitable…

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. WRAL

There are so many things wrong with analysis so we will start with he basic one.  Everyone always freaks out because teacher salaries are below the national average.  I’m not sure if people don’t understand math but 24 states are going to above the average and 24 are going to be below the national average. Unless we pay every teacher in the country the same salary 50% of teachers are going to make more and 50% will make less.  This is not hard to understand.

Given the choice, I bet most teachers in North Carolina would love to make the national average.  However teachers in New York would probably be pretty pissed.  This brings us to problem number two, none of these reports from the NEA ever adjust for cost-of-living.  In January, John Hood wrote a piece for the Carolina Journal highlighting a study that did take COL into account.  When adjusting for COL North Carolina’s actual rank is 27th.  Not so bad all of sudden.

The final problem with this report deals with missing components.  In December of last year, Bob Luebke wrote about the rising cost of benefits…

These changes translate into real numbers for employees. In 2010 the value of employee benefits totaled $11,550. By 2017, the same total had surged to $16,903, an increase of 46 percent.  With an average teacher salary of $45,970 and $16,903 in benefits, total average compensation for North Carolina teachers is $62,873. CIVITAS

63 grand is not too shabby for a state where the median household income is 48 grand.  Oh, it should also be mentioned that Luebke’s numbers are based on the average salary being 45k when the NEA lists it at 50k which means the actual number is closer to 70.  When you add local supplements (which average 4,200) we are talking almost 75 grand.  That is almost twice the median household income in North Carolina for a job that lasts 9 months. So please, tell me again how bad teachers have it…

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