North Carolina teacher pay ranks 46th in the country, according to a report to the State Board of Education.
Five years ago, North Carolina teacher salaries were in the middle of the state rankings, however recent state budget cuts have caused a freeze on pay raises.
Elizabeth Foster, President of Guilford County’s Educators Association, says overall a teachers paycheck has made a $1400 drop in the last four years.
The average salary for a teacher in the state is $45,933, which is $10,000 less than the national average.
Foster said teachers are at the “whim and mercy of legislators and county commissioners” for incentives and supplements for extra pay.
“We had a small bump on pay last year, however we’ve lost ground again because with the tax increase that went into effect, we’re actually making less than we were last year, even with that 1.2 percent bump,” Foster said.
“We’re not paying people what they’re worth. I know folks who have taken on second and third jobs. I know folks with small families at home have left the profession all together because they’re not even getting minimum wage for the number of hours they’re committed to their children.”
On average, Guilford County offers a 10.75 percent supplement for teachers depending on their experience level, education, and current need of teachers at certain schools, or whether teachers are willing to teach certain subjects or exceptional children.
A Guilford County School spokesman said the supplement is meant to recruit teachers to the county.
The average entry-level salary for a teacher with no experience made approximately $35,150 as of July 2012.