Teachers lose ground (HPE)

Back home, inside the glass-enclosed nerve center of the Huey for Guilford School Board HQ…this week’s header picture is a photo of me in front of the US Dept. Of Education building in DC.

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Today’s High Point Enterprise inks a short article on a recently-released white paper from the Washington-based Economic Policy Institute, saying how teacher pay is losing ground in this country.

HPE:

Teachers lose ground
Pay gap widens between educators, other professions

BY KATISHA HAYES
ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER

GUILFORD COUNTY – The pay gap is widening between public school teachers and other pro­fessions, according to a national report.
That gap exceeds 25 percent in 15 states, including North Carolina, where public school teachers on average take home roughly $800 a week compared to the $1,000 in wages that other college graduates – with similar education and experience – earn weekly. The Washington, D.C.­based think tank Economic Pol­icy Institute analyzed teacher pay in its study “The Teaching Penalty: Teacher Pay Losing Ground,” released last week.
According to the group, pay gains for college-educated work­ers appeared in the late 1990s but bypassed teachers. Since then, the average college graduate has experienced a stagnation in real wages and teachers have fared even worse, the study indicated. Over the last decade, the teacher pay gap increased 10.8 percent­age points – from a 4.3 percent shortfall for teachers in 1996 to 15.1 percent in 2006.
In North Carolina, the av­erage teacher makes about $46,000 a year and in Guilford County, experienced teach­ers annually earn $52,000. The state ranks about 26th in the nation for teacher pay.
“We’ve had pay increases over the last couple of years, and other states have also been in­creasing their state salary base. So what has happened is we haven’t gained any ground, and we are still having to be com­petitive to states like Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina,” said Mark Jewell, president of the Guilford County Associa­tion of Educators.
Beginning teachers in Guil­ford County earn about $34,000, one of the highest pay rates in the state and nation. Jewell said salaries begin to lag the more ex­perienced teachers are. It takes a teacher with a master’s degree about 32 years to get to an annu­al salary of $60,000, he said.

Here’s the link to the study.

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E.C. )

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