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Are North Carolina Teachers Leaving For Better Pay In Other States?


News Release:

 "Democrats like Roy Cooper and the rest of the 'sky-is-falling' crowd on the left are once again peddling false information and statistics in an attempt to mislead North Carolinians on education and teacher pay. While they say that teachers are leaving NC, the fact is that North Carolina is attracting more teachers to the state and our teacher retention rate is at or better than the national average because of better pay and an improved education system."
— Hasan Harnett, NCGOP Chairman


Claim: There Is An "Exodus" Of North Carolina Teachers Leaving For Better Pay In Other States

  • "Our best and brightest teachers are leaving for better pay and more respect." (Roy Cooper, Gubernatorial Announcement Speech, 10/12/2015)
  • "North Carolina's 'Education Exodus' Worsens as More Teachers Leave for Better Pay" (Blog: Logan Smith, "North Carolina's 'Education Exodus' Worsens as More Teachers Leave for Better Pay," Huffington Post, 10/13/2015)

Fact: More teachers are moving to NC to teach than are leaving to teach in other states

  • "Between 2010 and 2014, 8,500 out-of-state teachers received North Carolina teaching licenses (via interstate reciprocity agreements) and were employed as classroom teachers the following school year. During the same period, around 2,200 teachers abandoned North Carolina to teach in other states." (Dr. Terry Stoops, "N.C. Imports More Teachers Than It Exports," Carolina Journal Online, 10/9/2015)
  • Less than 1% of North Carolina's teachers actually left to teach in another state. (Department of Public Instruction)


Fact: North Carolina's teacher retention rate is at or better than the national average

  • "Only 6.8 percent of teachers voluntarily left the profession last year, which is much lower than some estimated national averages." (Dr. Terry Stoops, "N.C. Imports More Teachers Than It Exports," Carolina Journal Online, 10/9/2015)

Fact: Average teacher pay in North Carolina slipped under Democratic Governors Easley and Perdue, and declined more than any other state.

  • "North Carolina leads the nation in the decline of average salaries at 15.7 percent between 2002-12." (Op-Ed: Mebane Rash, "Lifting the status of teachers," Burlington Times-News, 12/15/2013)


Fact: Under Governor McCrory, North Carolina gave teachers the biggest pay raise in the country

  • "Between the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years, the percentage increase in North Carolina teacher salaries was 6.2 percent, by far the largest increase in the nation." (Blog: Dr. Terry Stoops, "NEA: NC ranks 42nd in teacher salary," John Locke Foundation, 3/18/2015)

Fact: Under Governor McCrory, average teacher pay increased to $47,800, higher than the North Carolina's median household income.

  • Average NC teacher pay: $47,783 (Heather Waliga, "New report ranks North Carolina teachers' pay, WTVD, 3/18/15)
  • Median NC household income: $46,334 ("North Carolina Quick Facts," Census.gov)

Fact: Under previous governors, education spending was cut by about $1 billion between 2008-11 (Department of Public Instruction)

 Fact: Under Governor McCrory, K-12 funding has increased 12% from 2012-13 to 2015-16 (Office of State Budget and Management)

Fact: Governor McCrory increased state per pupil spending on education.


 (Blog: Dr. Terry Stoops, "DPI examines state funding trends," The Locker Room, 9/29/2015)

Fact: North Carolina ranks #9 in the nation for state level funding of education.

  • "Just over 60 percent of North Carolina's revenue receipts come from state sources, the 9th highest percentage in the nation." (Blog: Dr. Terry Stoops, "NEA: NC ranks 42nd in teacher salary," John Locke Foundation, 3/18/2015)

Fact: Governor McCrory's budget doubled funding for textbooks to $52.4 million in FY15-16 ("Appropriations Act of 2015," House Bill 97, North Carolina General Assembly)

Fact: North Carolina 's high school graduation rate reached the highest in state history at 85.4% (North Carolina Department of Public Instruction)

  • Contact: Kara Carter
  • NCGOP Press Secretary
  • kara.carter@ncgop.org





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