Monday numbers: A closer look at some of the reasons NC teachers are rallying this week

Monday numbers: A closer look at some of the reasons NC teachers are rallying this week

- in Education, Top Story

On Wednesday more than two dozen North Carolina school systems will be closed for the day as thousands of teachers and other education supporters from across the state descend on Raleigh for the NCAE’s Day of Action.

This week’s Monday numbers column examines some of the factors that have helped to spur on this year’s rally.

93,411 – the number of North Carolina public school teachers for the current fiscal year (Source: DPI)

$53,975 – the average teacher salary in North Carolina this school year (NEA)

$57, 137 – the average teacher salary in Georgia this school year

$60,462 – the national average teacher salary in 2017-18 (Source: NEA)

$37,631 – average starting salary for a teacher in North Carolina (Ibid)

$39,249 – average starting teacher salary in the U.S.

29th – North Carolina’s national ranking for teacher compensation

4 – the number of times over the last ten years that teachers and state employees received no raise whatsoever (2009-10, 10-11, 11-12 and 2013-14)

9.1 – the percentage increase teachers would see over two years under Gov. Roy Cooper’s proposed budget

$125 – the amount the House two-year spending plan would provide for teachers to purchase classroom supplies.

36 – the percentage of teachers in a national poll who say they spent between $251 and $500 annually on classroom supplies (Source: National Center for Education Statistics)

-$21 – the amount by which average, inflation-adjusted weekly wages of U.S. public school teachers decreased between 1996 and 2018 (Source: Economic Policy Institute: The teacher weekly wage penalty)

+$323 – the amount by which average weekly wage for college graduates in other professions rose over the same period (Ibid)

8.09% – the overall statewide attrition rate of North Carolina public school teachers in the 2017-18 school year (Source: DPI)

7.25% – the attrition rate for experienced, licensed teachers (Ibid)

5%  – pay raise that May 1 rally attendees are seeking for all non-certified public school staff

5% – cost of living hike that rally attendees are seeking for retirees

$15 – hourly wage attendees are seeking for custodians and other essential school personnel who have not seen wages increase in recent years

$11.41 – current average hourly wage for a school custodian in Guilford County (Source:

$18,094 – average annual pay for a school custodian in North Carolina (Source: Ziprecruiter)

$11,934 – average national per-pupil spending last year according to the NEA

$9,528 – average amount North Carolina spent

39th – North Carolina’s national rank for per-pupil spending

1:378 – current counselor-to-student ratio in North Carolina

1:1,073 – current nurse-to-student ratio

1,556,141 – the total average daily membership of students attending North Carolina schools for the 2018-19 school year

7 – number of days since Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger labeled the NCAE’s Day of Action a “far-left strike”

2 – number of days until thousands of teachers and public school advocates come to Raleigh to make their voices heard

70 – percentage of the state’s voters – including more than half of Republicans — who say they support teachers taking the day off to share concerns with lawmakers (Source: Public Policy Polling)