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Average teacher pay, textbook funding, class sizes: NC debuts new school finances website

April 26, 2019 GMT

The average teacher salary in Wake County public schools is $58,403. But in neighboring Franklin County, teachers are paid, on average, nearly $9,000 less at $49,805. Those are some of the school finance statistics reported on North Carolina’s new Financial Transparency Dashboard.

The site debuted Thursday and shows financial info for every school system in the state, including average teacher salaries, textbook funding and class sizes. Similar to the state’s School Report Card website, the new dashboard will allow state and local leaders, researchers, news media, community members, and educators and parents to learn more about the funding that goes into, and is spent on, the state’s K-12 public schools.

“One of our goals is greater transparency,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson said in a statement. “With this easy-to-use tool, you now have the facts about how our NC education system spends the over $15 billion per year dedicated to supporting students, educators, and schools. You can even discover how tax dollars are utilized in your county.”

North Carolina Association of Educators President Mark Jewell says the new website “highlights the fact that most teachers are not making the average.”

“The Superintendent and Majority NCGA want to take credit for the local county supplements,” Jewell said. “We also have many experienced educators who were grandfathered in for advanced degree pay that also skew the actual reality of the low pay teachers are receiving. The fact is the NCGA eliminated master pay, longevity pay, and created a broken salary schedule beginning at $32,000 and capping at $52,000.”

According to the new dashboard:

The NC School Finances site was developed in partnership with the Government Data Analytics Center of the N.C. Department of Information Technology and Cary-based SAS. It’s part of the multimillion-dollar, multi-year School Business Systems Modernization program that the General Assembly has funded to modernize systems including financial and payroll information, human resources information, and capital and repairs and renovations planning information systems at both the state and school district levels.