According to the state Board of Education, starting salary for an entry-level teacher is $30,000. For a teacher who has worked for 36 years or more, that amount rises to $53,180. With a master’s degree, depending on certifications — and depending on whether or not the state has the money to pay for the additional education — that wage can be as high as $65,520.
According to the college board, average cost of a four-year degree for an in-state student at a public university is about $35,000. For one who’s out of state, $87,000. At a private university, students can expect to pay $116,000.
The math says those loans will take a long time to pay off.
In North Carolina, the average annual cost for a 4-year-old enrolled in childcare is $7,774. Take that figure times 20 — a reasonable number for today’s overcrowded classrooms — and you get more than $155,000. Take from that number 29 percent, a number Forbes estimates is reasonable for operating expenses, taxes, insurance and other fees — and you are left with more than a hundred grand.
We wonder what the student-per-child ratio is for daycare classrooms. But we would imagine that those workers, some of them teachers, who we don’t necessarily expect to instruct our children — although many do — live more comfortably than many instructors employed by our state’s public schools, where thousands of students attend every day.
To us, that math doesn’t add up.
As Eric Guckian said in Wednesday’s visit, teachers should feel that their career will sustain them and also allow them to comfortably raise a family.
Our view is that those who spend eight hours a day with our children should be able to support children of their own. At least we can say with confidence that those who do teach, do it because they love our kids.
They sure aren’t in it for the money.