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Teacher Appreciation Day: N.C. teacher pay is 37th in the nation.


Provided by Asheville City Schools

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Today is Teacher Appreciation Day – and with 1,600+ Buncombe County Schools teachers, 686 Asheville City Schools employees, and hundreds of private or charter-school teachers from Carolina Day, Christ School, and more – we have a lot to be appreciative for.

For the majority of teachers, the career is fueled by a passion for education + a love of teaching. Why? For public school teachers, it’s not for the money as N.C. teacher pay is 37th in the nation according to the National Education Association.

$50,861: N.C.'s average teacher salary

N.C. Public School teachers are on a “certified teacher salary schedule”, which is public and shows that teachers with 25+ years of experience with a Masters degree are paid $56,430 ($51,300 for those without a Masters degree at 25 years). The starting salary for a teacher without a masters degree is $35,000. Those who have been teaching for 10+ years are paid $40,550 (or $45,420 with a Masters degree). To put into perspective, according to, a Verizon Store manager makes $52,250+ and the average Chilli’s manager salary is $48,064.

According to the National Education Association, N.C. teacher pay ranks 37th in the nation. North Carolina’s average teacher salary is $50,861 (Note: the Department of Public Instruction reports this number as $51,214). The NEA reports that the national average salary was $58,950 for last school year.

New York is no. 1 in teacher pay ranking, coming in at an average pay of $83,585, and Mississippi comes in last at $43,107. Our South Carolina neighbors come in 35th at $51,027.

Republican lawmakers with the General Assembly say their goal is to raise average teacher salaries to $55,000 a year by 2020. The issue will likely be a contentious issue as the control of the GA is at state during fall elections. Get GA updates + see the legislative calendar here.

$6,115: N.C.'s per-pupil funding

Additionally, N.C.'s per-pupil funding is $6,115, which is $600 less than it was 9 years ago. This currently puts our state at 43rd in per-pupil funding, with only Tennessee + Mississippi below us in education spending in the South.

Yesterday, in Raleigh noted that three of N.C.'s largest districts – Wake County, Guilford, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg County have announced they’re closing on May 16th (next Wednesday) so teachers can head to the capital for a teacher’s rally. Over 10,000 teachers across the state have already asked for the day off. Asheville City Schools announced Tuesday they will close for the rally.

The “Advocacy Day: March for Students and Rally for Respect” is hosted by the North Carolina Education Association for Educators and has the goal of “marching for students to greet lawmakers on opening day.”

And while these stats may not scream “thank you teachers!,” our local school districts are working to support their teachers, even if they’re up against a lack of state funding.

So what are local public schools doing to celebrate their teachers?

We reached out to both Asheville City Schools and Buncombe County Schools to learn what they do to support + appreciate teachers.

Asheville City Schools

(From Ashley-Michelle Thublin, Executive Director of Communications)

Two standout programs ACS teachers experience includes the Beginning Teachers Program and our continued professional development around Excellence with Equity.

Beginning Teachers Program: Asheville City Schools is committed to the success of each beginning teacher. The Beginning Teacher Support Program (BTSP) assists novice teachers (those issued a Standard Professional (SP) 1 Professional Educator’s License) in meeting qualifications leading to a Standard Professional (SP) 2 Professional Educator’s License. Public Schools of North Carolina Licensure Division determines teachers who must participate in the Beginning Teacher Support Program. Part of the assistance provided by Asheville City Schools during the required three-year support program includes initial orientation, on-site mentors, professional development, and collaboration with exemplary teachers. Administrators, a Beginning Teacher Coordinator, and instructional coaches partner with beginning teachers and mentors for a cohesive system of support.

Beginning teachers participate in a rich, formal orientation experience. While procedures, policies, and curriculum take center stage, beginning teachers enjoy an Asheville City Schools tour featuring both school and district history. Participants often rate the tour as a highlight of orientation. In order to connect faces and names, teachers meet Central Office staff and hear greetings and suggestions for success from both the Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year. Mentors are often available to assist in setting up classrooms and preparing for that important first day of school.


Provided by Asheville City Schools

Getting started on the right foot is important. Readings outlining steps for a successful start to school and for building positive student/family relationships guide beginning teachers in preparing for the first days of school. Staff make frequent classroom visits during the first month of school to check in with beginning teachers. Support from mentors, administrators, and the Beginning Teacher Coordinator continues throughout the year. Beginning teacher conversations assist in developing expertise in classroom management, parent support and engagement, effective formative/summative assessments, curriculum, and other topics identified by the beginning teacher group. Frequent times of sharing between beginning and veteran teachers yield practical advice and tried and true suggestions.

Requirements to complete the Beginning Teacher Support Program include attending orientation, teaching successfully for three years, submitting a portfolio (including components from the North Carolina Educator Evaluation System) in each of the three years of the program, attending required professional development and beginning teacher meetings, successfully completing necessary course work for certification, achieving the rating of Proficient or higher (Accomplished, Distinguished) on all five NC 21st Century Teaching Standards by the final third-year summative evaluation, and being recommended for an SP2 license. North Carolina 21st Century Teaching Standards information can be found at


Provided by Asheville City Schools

Excellence With Equity: Continuing our promise of Excellence with Equity, Asheville City Schools has entered into a three-year partnership with Integrated Comprehensive System for Equity to delve deep into the history of inequities in education and to work together to address inequity in our schools. 2017-2018 is year one of our three-year partnership.

The primary goal of Asheville City Schools is to ensure the schuss of all students. This can and will be accomplished when we consider the wide range of learners within each classroom. By strengthening core instruction and building on teacher expertise, Asheville City Schools will progress towards its goal of Excellence with Equity.

A video showcasing how teachers view and respond to year one of Excellence with Equity is available here.

“I would like to wish all our teachers a very Teacher Appreciation Week. Thank you for all you do for our students in Asheville City Schools. As I have visited classrooms and schools, I have seen wonderful lessons. I have seen students participate in dynamic discussions. I have seen students use technology. You go above and beyond each day to make sure that our students are learning. I just want you to know that I am so appreciative all of your efforts. I hope that you have a wonderful week. Again, thank you for all that you do for all our students in Asheville City Schools.” – Dr. Denise Patterson, Asheville City Schools’ Superintendent

Buncombe County Schools

“This week, take time to thank the teachers in your life! It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week! Our schools have lots of events planned to show our teachers how much they matter! As you all are celebrating, please use #thankateacher and tag Buncombe County Schools! We’ll be sharing posts all week long!” – BCS on Facebook

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Programs for teachers –

The Beginning Teacher Support Program began in North Carolina schools in 1997 and is designed specifically to meet the needs of teachers who are new to the teaching profession. Buncombe County provides many layers of support to our Beginning Teachers during the first three years of their teaching career. This website is full of helpful resources, videos, important dates, and reminders for our Beginning Teachers.

Global Resources + Grants is part of BCSs’ Global Education program and includes collaborations with Carolina Navigators, which provides free instructional resources for teachers to globalize classrooms, Grades K-14, North Carolina Humanities Council, a grant agency for global experiences, and more.

The Compassionate Schools Initiative within Learning and Teaching Support provides training, guidance, referral, and technical assistance to schools wishing to adopt a Compassionate Schools Infrastructure. Compassionate Schools benefit all students who attend but focus on students chronically exposed to stress and trauma in their lives. These schools create compassionate classrooms and foster compassionate attitudes of their school staff. The goal is to keep students engaged and learning by creating and supporting a healthy climate and culture within the school where all students can learn. It is not a program; it is a process and as such is not “one size fits all.” Each school and community will develop their own unique compassionate “personality.”

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