RALEIGH—A new report released today by Think NC First, entitled “More than the National Average,” argues that increasing pay is just one step among many North Carolina must take to improve teacher quality and avoid a severe teacher shortage. Report author Kevin Bastian, a UNC-Chapel Hill research associate, argues for increasing teacher pay along with building a new infrastructure of recruitment, retention and teacher support programs.

“In recent years North Carolina has asked its teacher workforce to do more with less. State policy has become teacher-adverse,” wrote Bastian in a recent Raleigh News & Observer op-ed. “Investing in higher teacher salaries is important, but raising salaries is not enough. The state needs to go beyond the national average and build a new, comprehensive infrastructure to support teaching and public education.”

The report’s recommendations include:

  • Re-instating recruitment incentives;
  • Creating a teacher compensation system that ensures a competitive level of base teacher pay, while allowing for flexibility to experiment with differential pay or other alternative compensation strategies to fit local needs;
  • Requiring in-state teacher education programs to be nationally accredited, to commit to raising admissions standards, and to use data for continuous program improvement;
  • Providing high-quality, comprehensive induction support services to all teachers in their early-career period; and
  • Ensuring a competitive level of funding for public education overall.

Download the report here. For questions or interviews, please contact Kevin Bastian at kbastian@email.unc.edu or (919) 698-6658.

About the Author
Kevin C. Bastian is a Research Associate at UNC Chapel Hill who specializes in research on North Carolina’s teachers and school leaders.  Bastian's research interests include education policy and evaluation and teacher and school leader preparation, labor markets, and effectiveness. In his current position, Bastian works collaboratively with the UNC system to conduct research and improve the quality of teachers and school leaders prepared in North Carolina. Previously, Bastian taught sixth grade reading and language arts in North Carolina and earned his Ph.D. in public policy from UNC Chapel Hill.

About Think NC First
Think North Carolina First (Think) is a policy and message development think tank that serves as a reliable source of evidence-based research for policy makers and thought leaders. It is Think’s mission to produce pragmatic ideas and research accessible to the average North Carolinian that can be used to formulate, debate and implement public policy.