NC teacher pay: 41st (no COL) and 33rd (COL) in the nation

The National Education Association (NEA) finally released Rankings of the States 2015 and Estimates of School Statistics 2016.

As WRAL has reported, North Carolina is ranked 41st in teacher pay this year and ranked 42nd last year, according to NEA estimates.

But the NEA ranking does not take cost of living (COL) into account.  They write,

Further, any discussion of average salary figures in the absence of other data about the specific state or district provides limited insights into the actual “value” of those salaries. For example, variations in the cost of living may go a long way toward explaining (and, in practice, offsetting) differences in salary levels from one area of the country to another.

Indeed, adjusting the average salary figures to account for cost of living makes a big difference.  Because North Carolina’s cost of living is lower than the national average, teacher pay goes further here than in 17 other states.  (COL data for New Mexico was not available.)

Using the C2ER cost of living index, I determined that North Carolina ranks 33rd in COL-adjusted average salary.  Here are my preliminary calculations:

States and D.C. Teacher Salary COL Index Adjusted Salary Adjusted Salary Rank
Michigan  $63,878.00 91.2  $70,041.67  1
Illinois  $61,342.00 96.5  $63,566.84  2
Pennsylvania  $64,991.00 103  $63,098.06  3
Wyoming  $57,761.00 92.8  $62,242.46  4
Ohio  $56,410.00 92.5  $60,983.78  5
Iowa  $54,416.00 92  $59,147.83  6
Georgia  $54,190.00 91.7  $59,094.87  7
Massachusetts  $76,981.00 130.4  $59,034.51  8
Indiana  $50,715.00 88  $57,630.68  9
New York  $77,957.00 135.6  $57,490.41  10
Delaware  $59,085.00 102.8  $57,475.68  11
Kentucky  $51,666.00 90  $57,406.67  12
Minnesota  $56,910.00 101.5  $56,068.97  13
Texas  $51,758.00 92.6  $55,894.17  14
Wisconsin  $54,766.00 98.1  $55,826.71  15
Nebraska  $51,364.00 92.3  $55,648.97  16
New Jersey  $69,330.00 125.6  $55,199.04  17
Alabama  $49,781.00 90.2  $55,189.58  18
Maryland  $66,482.00 121.1  $54,898.43  19
Connecticut  $72,013.00 131.8  $54,638.09  20
California  $72,842.00 134.3  $54,238.27  21
Kansas  $49,197.00 90.9  $54,122.11  22
Tennessee  $48,708.00 90.3  $53,940.20  23
Virginia  $50,834.00 94.5  $53,792.59  24
Rhode Island  $66,197.00 123.3  $53,687.75  25
Nevada  $56,943.00 106.5  $53,467.61  26
Arkansas  $48,220.00 91.4  $52,757.11  27
Missouri  $47,849.00 91.5  $52,293.99  28
D.C.  $75,810.00 146.8  $51,641.69  29
Idaho  $45,409.00 88.2  $51,484.13  30
Mississippi  $42,744.00 83.5  $51,190.42  31
Alaska  $67,443.00 133.5  $50,519.10  32
North Carolina  $47,985.00 95.8  $50,088.73  33
Oklahoma  $44,921.00 89.7  $50,079.15  34
Louisiana  $46,733.00 93.4  $50,035.33  35
Montana  $51,215.00 102.7  $49,868.55  36
Utah  $46,042.00 92.4  $49,829.00  37
South Carolina  $48,542.00 97.5  $49,786.67  38
New Hampshire  $58,802.00 118.2  $49,747.88  39
North Dakota  $50,237.00 101.2  $49,641.30  40
Washington  $52,539.00 106  $49,565.09  41
Colorado  $50,039.00 101.9  $49,105.99  42
Florida  $49,199.00 100.5  $48,954.23  43
Vermont  $58,901.00 123.8  $47,577.54  44
Oregon  $60,064.00 129.5  $46,381.47  45
Arizona  $45,477.00 98.8  $46,029.35  46
West Virginia  $45,977.00 103.7  $44,336.55  47
Maine  $50,229.00 114.7  $43,791.63  48
South Dakota  $42,025.00 102.5  $41,000.00  49
Hawaii  $57,431.00 168.6  $34,063.46  50
New Mexico  $47,163.00 N/A N/A N/A

Terry Stoops / Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies

Terry Stoops is the Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the Locke Foundation, he worked as the progra...

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