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Home : 2008 : Jan : 26

    By JulieG04

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    Tammy, I love teaching in North Carolina, but if you're coming to the southeast, be prepared for some teaching "culture shock." North Carolina, along with all the other states you named, have much lower pay scales than PA. You can check NC's salary schedules at The state sets the base salary and then each school district adds a "supplement" based on their budget. Each district pays the supplement in different ways, some pay it incrementally (sp?) in each paycheck, some pay in a lump sum at the end of the year, etc. The pay is improving here, but is still low for the nation--1st year starts around $30,000 and the max is about $55,000 (on the Bachelor's scale). Benefits are decent but not nearly as good as you describe. All teachers are state employees and therefore we have the same health insurance, BCBS of NC. I'm not sure what the family premium is, but I know that coverage for yourself is free and for you and a child is about $180/month. Dental benefits vary by district but are typically available. Basic vision is covered under BCBS PPO plans. NC's retirement fund is decent, I believe it's been well run and has a good rating. Most districts offer some form of tuition reimbursement but it's limited and first-come-first-served.

    Oh, many districts do offer a signing bonus for new teachers!

    There are jobs available. I don't know what your certification area is, but NC still estimates a need of about 10,000 new teachers each year based on retirement and turnover. There is higher demand for math and science teachers, along with special education.

    Working conditions are likely to be your biggest adjustment. The legislature has passed laws to require daily duty free lunch and optimum planning time but allowed that if the School Improvement Team at each school couldn't figure out a way to do it then nothing would change. :mad: There is funding for teacher assistants in grades K-3; again, this varies from district to district. Some schools limit your number of copies per month, supplies provided by the school may be minimal, and technology varies widely from district to district.

    We do have tenure, generally granted (I think) at the end of the fourth year for traditional track teachers. However, we can have teacher associations (some say unions) but we cannot enter into collective bargaining agreements or strike ("right to work" laws). Most folks moving here go for the bigger cities like Charlotte and Raleigh--these may pay higher supplements but they have the higher cost of living to go with them. I've heard many people say that North Carolina taxes everything (i.e. sales tax on everything, personal property taxes, etc.), but since I've only lived in states with similar systems (VA and MS), I don't know any better!LOLLOL

    That said, I enjoy teaching here and things have improved a lot in the last few years. North Carolina is beautiful, as is Pennsylvania. We have much milder winters (we close schools for a hint of snow!) and HOT summers. The beaches here a wonderful, too. Whatever you decide to do, I hope that it works out for you and your family.:)

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