Teachers deserve a raise, N.C. says

Teachers are pretty chapped at not getting a raise again this year. When political appointees only a few years out of college got huge raises, teachers got even angrier.

Teachers should be cheered by the results of the latest Elon University Poll. Asked if teachers are paid too much too little or just right, the poll respondents were clear. 81 percent said too little and 12 percent said just right. Only 2 percent said too much.

Of course, those results and $4 will buy them a macchiato at Starbucks. These are similar results to our April poll in which 74 percent said teachers were paid too little.

There is no need to look at the demographic breakdown — the dominant feeling in every group was that teachers are paid too little.

N.C. registered voters, by a 53 percent to 38 percent margin, support teacher tenure. This is a switch from April, when 54 percent opposed tenure compared with 40 percent that supported it. The legislature abolished tenure this past summer. But the politicians couldn’t find money for a raise.

According to WRAL.com: “The state’s average teacher salary of $45,967 is almost $10,000 less than the national average. Starting pay for a teacher in North Carolina is $30,800 a year, and it takes 15 years to get to $40,000.”

When the legislative session was over, Gov. Pat McCrory pledged extra pay for teachers who earn advanced degrees. He also said he expects to give teachers raises next year.

— John Robinson

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