North Carolina teachers are now averaging more than $50K a year

Teacher helping young students using laptops in class (Getty Images)

RALEIGH, N.C. — The average salary for a teacher in North Carolina has increased to more than $50,000 a year for the first time, The News & Observer reports.

According to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the average salary for a public school teacher has risen from $45,737 to $51,214 over the last five years. The numbers marked a 12-percent increase.

The average salary for teachers includes local supplements to the state base salary. The local supplement was $4,337 in 2017-18.

Since taking control of the state legislature in 2011, Republican lawmakers have raised the starting base salary for new teachers to $35,000.

Lawmakers say their goal is to raise average teacher salaries to $55,000 a year by 2020. The national average for teachers is $58,950.