For the second year in a row, North Carolina has ranked 30th in the nation for average teacher pay. A state budget battle has prevented teachers from getting any raises. 

The salary report issued by the National Education Association shows teacher pay in North Carolina has stalled out at $54,682 for this school year. With an increase of roughly $700 since the previous school year, the state remains stuck at 30th in the national rankings. The report shows the estimated average teacher pay in the U.S. to be just below $63,645. 

The News & Observer reports the ranking has improved since the state fell to 47th in 2013. But with Governor Roy Cooper vetoing this year's budget written by the GOP-led General Assembly, there are currently no major pay increases on the table for educators. Cooper called raises included in a subsequent standalone bill “paltry.”

Some relief was provided when lawmakers recently approved giving teachers a $350 bonus, along with step-increase raises based on longevity.

Republican legislators say an economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic is responsible for their hesitance to issue raises to teachers. 

Cooper is calling on lawmakers to make educator pay a priority when they return in the fall.

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