Ths ABC11 I-Team reviewed the pay schedules for several districts in North Carolina, including Wake County Public School System. WCPSS district records count 10,424 teachers in this 2017-2018 school year, and 64 percent of them (6,644) make more than $50,000 a year, and almost half of those (3,220) are making more than $60,000.
The data also shows that 30.8 percent (3,780 teachers) make less than $50,000 per year.
Still, Wake County may be the exception and not the rule, as WCPSS provides a much greater supplement to the annual salary than other school districts.
In North Carolina, the General Assembly sets a base pay scale in its biennial budget. For instance, a teacher with five years experience and a bachelor's degree earns a base salary of $38,300, while a teacher with 15 years experience with the same and a bachelor's degree earns a base salary of $45,550. That same teacher in Wake County with those credentials will earn an additional supplement of at least 17.25 percent, or $6,702.50 and $8,312.90 respectively. (There is more money kicked in for higher degrees and certifications).
In Durham County, however, the supplement is 12.5 percent for a teacher with five years experience ($4,788) and 14.75 percent for a teacher with 15 years experience ($6,719). The percentage in Cumberland County is even lower, which means that teacher with five years experience earns a supplemental salary of $2,618.
According to Republican leaders in the General Assembly, the pay scale has increased significantly in the past five years:
- A teacher with five years of experience will earn $9,200 more in 2018-19 than the same teacher in 2013-14, from $30,800 to $40,000, a 29.9% increase.
- A teacher with twelve years of experience will earn $15,330 more in 2018-19 than that teacher did in 2013-14, from $31,670 to $47,000, a 48 percent increase.
- A teacher with sixteen years of experience will earn $11,840 more in 2018-19 than the same teacher did in 2013-14, from $38,160 to $50,000, a 31 percent increase.
- A teacher with twenty-five years of experience will earn $9,040 more in 2018-19 than they did in 2013-14, from $42,260 to $51,300, a 21.4 percent increase
Those numbers, however, still rank among the 15 lowest average teacher salaries among all 50 states.