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Former Gov. Hunt: NC teachers deserve an “iron-clad commitment” to hike pay

If you missed it over the weekend, be sure to read the op-ed by former Governor Jim Hunt, spelling out how to raise the pay of North Carolin’s public school teachers to the national average.

Governor Hunt writes in the News & Observer:

Jim_Hunt‘As North Carolina enters 2014, I have a New Year’s resolution for our state. In the next four years, let’s raise the pay of our public school teachers to the national average. Not talk about it, or vaguely promise it, but do it

Our hard-working teachers deserve it. Today their pay ranks 46 among the 50 states. They could make as much as $10,000 a year more just by moving to South Carolina, Virginia or Tennessee to teach.

To reach this big, bold goal in four years, four things need to happen.

• North Carolina residents must see it as critical to the success of every child in our state. We the people must want to do it, we must speak up for it and we must pay for it.

• The governor and the General Assembly must believe it is necessary and must pass a law this year to do it.

• The governor and the legislature must appropriate the substantial money required each year to reach the goal.

• Over the four years of this effort, as we close in on the national average, the State Budget Office must calculate how much additional funding is required each year in light of the other states’ raising their own pay levels.

These funding commitments must be very large, so the governor must recommend money each year and the legislature must appropriate it.

This may sound daunting. It is. But North Carolina did it before, and we can do it again.’

Read Hunt’s full column here.

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