RALEIGH, N.C. — Hundreds of North Carolina teachers attended a job fair Saturday in Raleigh, responding to a newspaper ad recruiting N.C. teachers to Texas.
WRAL-TV reported that the job fair was sponsored by the Houston Independent School District. It took place Saturday morning at Raleigh’s Doubletree Brownstone Hotel.
The district, which is one of the biggest school systems in Texas, placed the wanted ad in the Raleigh News & Observer earlier this week. The headline read, “Calling all North Carolina Teachers!”
The ad shows a promised starting salary of $46,805, which is reportedly about $16,000 more per year than what current teachers in North Carolina get paid.
Gov. Pat McCrory has promised in his new budget that teachers will soon earn a starting salary of $35,000.
The cost of living in Houston is higher than the cost of living in Raleigh, but a teacher from Raleigh would earn 25 percent more while teaching in Houston, far exceeding the need of a 5 percent salary increase.
Also included in the ad is an invite to a job fair held by the Houston Independent School District this Saturday at the DoubleTree Raleigh.
“People in North Carolina are very frustrated right now,” said Rodney Ellis, president of the N.C. Association of Educators.
Ellis said last year alone more than 1,000 teachers left large school districts like Wake and Cumberland County for higher paying salaries in other states. Virgina and South Carolina have also lured teachers away for higher salaries.
In a response to the ad posted on Facebook, North Carolina state Representative Graig Meyer (D-District 50) noted the average salary for teachers in North Carolina is $45,737, and the starting salary is much lower.
“North Carolina, we can do better than this,” he wrote.
The Tar Heel State currently ranks 46th in the nation for teacher salaries. Many North Carolina districts have complained that they’re losing teachers to other states that pay more.
WNCN is reporting that the superintendent of Houston Independent Schools, Terry Grier, used to be the Superintendent of Guilford County Schools in Greensboro.
Read more: WRAL-TV