Harrison, others, rally for higher teacher pay in North Carolina

Rep. Pricey Harrison and public school teachers rally for higher teacher pay.

North Carolina state Rep. Pricey Harrison held a press conference today in Greensboro to bring attention to the issue of teacher’s noncompetitive pay. Harrison was joined by a handful of teachers in the parking lot of the Double Tree Hotel off of High Point Road to voice their displeasure with the current state of North Carolina teacher pay. The press conference was being held at the same time and location the Houston Independent School District was holding a job fair to recruit North Carolina teachers.Harrison spoke specifically about the latest teacher pay rankings released by the National Education Association. The rankings show that North Carolina teachers rank 42nd nationally and dead last in the Southeast. Harrison said that Gov. Pat McCrory’s budget has education as the lowest priority since 1980. She went on to say that the governor’s budget was unacceptable and education needed more funding. Harrison said that because of the low pay, North Carolina teachers are either leaving the teaching profession or continuing to teach in another state. Dawn Davis, a local teacher, followed Harrison at the podium and spoke passionately about the issues that the state’s teachers face. She described the Houston job fair as a “crying shame” and said that it was time for North Carolina to get competitive when it comes to teacher’s pay. “More students are coming to us with greater challenges and in bigger numbers. North Carolina needs to do more to keep the best and brightest teachers in the classroom,” Davis said.According to the NEA report, the average pay for North Carolina teachers is nearly $10,000 less than the national average and it has declined more than any other state in the last 10 years. The report lists North Carolina’s per pupil expenditure as the lowest in the Southeast.