Vol.#65: Hocus Pocus Headline

Any NC teacher, parent, or voter who has not read : “The Pay Scale No Politician Wants You to See: How the “largest pay raise in state history” amounts to an average of $270.” by James D. Hogan needs to do so. Now.

Image Credit: Flickr User Xtream_i

Clearly aimed at generating a headline and talking point during re-election this November, the NC GOP has pulled a “please just re-elect us” rabbit out of their hat. They’ve done some “smoke and mirrors” math, such as removing our earned longevity pay (which the other state employees get to keep by the way) and not including that subtraction in the figures as a loss when declaring they gave teachers a 7% raise.

In fact, some teachers will make the same or less.

And as teachers point this out, we’re set up to look greedy and unable to be pleased, since all many voters will hear is the “7% raise” party-line. Even the state paper now has a headline that sets up teachers for blame. (We paid for your raises by cutting all these things – are you happy now?) As seen in the comments section, for some voters the teacher-blame is already in full-swing:

  • “Unbelievable. The GA does more to increase teacher pay than since Jim Hunt was our Governor and you still whine about it.”
  • “Amazing… teachers get the largest salary increase in State history and that is still not enough for some.”

And this misinformed mentality is just what those up for re-election are counting on this November. “We tried to give teachers a raise, but they just can’t be pleased.” *shrug*

Presto-chango: Is this your victim card?

I couldn’t resist making an infographic using some actual facts from Mr. Hogan’s piece above and this News & Observer Editorial:

 NC GOP Budget (2)


Educators and parents of school-aged children can only hope the NC public is smarter than the NC GOP thinks. Otherwise, they will see what’s left of our dedicated North Carolina teaching force…disappear.



9 thoughts on “Vol.#65: Hocus Pocus Headline”

  1. Your numbers are misleading as well. The NCAE is using the baseline salary for teachers with bachelor degrees only. The national average is determined by the average base salary for full-time teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by highest degree earned and years of full-time teaching. This includes national board pay, local supplements, and advanced degrees. The NCAE stats do not include any of these incentives paid to teachers.


    1. Hi Brooke,

      I don’t understand your comment. Neither source for my infographic’s numbers is from NCAE, both cited at the bottom. Can you please explain what numbers you feel are misleading?


  2. You clearly have your own agenda here. There is one simple point that teachers don’t seem to understand. If you are unhappy with your salary, you have the option of leaving education and finding employment elsewhere. As a husband to a teacher in NC, any increase in salary would be welcome. However, my spouse and I both agree, she didn’t go into teaching to be wealthy. She did it because she loves kids.

    The reality is this. BOTH parties have had reckless spending for decades due to whatever political winds were blowing. NC had debt and out of whack budgets that needed realignment. Slowing teacher increases is part of that. Is it fair? No. But life isn’t fair, and it’s certainly not fair in the private sector where one can lose their job of 20 years in a moments notice. That’s life. Get used to it.

    Eventually, NC will adjust their salary when the tax paying citizen views or necessary and when enough teachers leave for greener pastures. Many of our friends left NC and went to other states with higher pay.

    Look at this budget deal as a perfect solution (what is though?) but a step forward. End of the day your a public servant of the tax payer, and it is the tax payer will ultimately decide if you get a higher wage.


    1. First off, you didn’t leave your name, but I think you meant breathe, not breath.

      Second, many teachers have taken that option of leaving, and in record numbers. I too know many who have left the state or teaching all together. You say we have to just wait until it gets even worse… Why?

      No one goes into teaching to be wealthy, of course not. However, if your wife weren’t married to you, her salary would qualify her own children for a free/reduced lunch price in the school where she teaches. It’s obscene. It’s a profession that requires a college degree. Why do we as a society pay more for some jobs like a cable installer than those who are entrusted to install education to the next generation?

      On this new scale, a North Carolina teacher has to work 20 years to reach the salary of a first-year teacher in Texas: $46,805. Texas isn’t a liberal or union state. Why should we be so far behind them?

      Where I ultimately disagree with you though, it when you say “the tax payer will decide” when it’s time to fund education. The politicians are deciding, and they are claiming our budget is broke but passed over 5 billion dollars in tax cuts over 5 years to the wealthy…you know, those who fund their elections cycles? Anyone who is truly under the impression that there is a budget crisis does not pass hundreds of millions of dollars in tax cuts. It’s a created crisis. It reflects their priorities, and it needs to be analyzed before stepping into the voting booth this November.




  3. If you don’t like it, leave it. Keep in mind we have only had 4 Republican governors since 1901 and the rest were 21 Democrats. I’m sick of all the my team is better than your team nonsense. Wasn’t Bev Perdue’s whole platform about education? What did she do? Nothing.


    1. You know what I’m sick of? People telling teachers to just quit rather than fight. You talk about the governors and not the make up of the general assembly I notice. But even that’s not the point. It’s never been wonderful for teachers, but it’s currently abysmal, and we address those in power now, not in 1901.


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