McCrory, GOP teacher pay plan benefits less than a third of NC teachers

Gov. Pat McCrory, House Speaker Thom Tillis, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and Lt. Gov. Dan Forrest announced this morning a teacher pay plan that boosts salaries for less experienced teachers in North Carolina, but leaves behind the vast majority – approximately 65,000 teachers out of the state’s 95,000+ — who have worked here longer and whose wages have been effectively frozen for the past five years.

Teachers who started at the bottom of the pay scale five years ago have been stuck at $30,800 since that time, not counting local supplements. McCrory’s plan would guarantee that beginning teachers make at least $33,000 annually in 2014-15, and for 2015-16, base pay for teachers would increase again to $35,000.

GOP leaders estimate that approximately 32,000 teachers would benefit from the proposal. There are roughly 95,000 teachers in North Carolina, which means that three quarters of the teaching workforce would see their salaries frozen for the sixth year in a row. (Teachers did get a 1.2% pay raise in 2010, but that was offset by an increase in health care premiums).

McCrory said funds already available will be used to pay for the announced salary increase for beginning teachers. Approximately $250 million went unspent in the general budget during last year’s budget negotiations, begging the question: why didn’t the raise come last year, when funds were available then?

Also unclear: is McCrory’s plan a true pay raise, meaning the pay bump for new teachers will be recurring? Or is it a one-time bonus, leaving salaries to revert back to their previous levels after 2016?

On another note, supplemental pay will be awarded for those teachers who completed master’s degree programs by July 1, 2013. Previously, only those who had finished their degrees by April 1, 2013 would have received the pay bump, causing consternation for many who wouldn’t have been able to complete their degrees mid-semester in order to make the cutoff.

But going forward, it appears lawmakers will stick with the plan to deny graduate degree holders salary increases for advancing their education.

McCrory said that future announcements will be made with regard to teacher pay in the coming months. There was no mention of restoring other budget reductions to public education, which include drastic cuts to teacher assistants and classroom supplies, and lifting the cap on classroom sizes, among others.

7 Comments

  1. LayintheSmakDown

    February 10, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Well, not unexpected at this site….but is the glass never half full? They make some proposals to begin to do exactly what has been whined about all over this site and it is of course not enough. Why don’t we just send every dollar in the budget to teachers….oh wait there would be nothing for Medicaid….lets send more dollars there….wait there is not enough funding for roads. Unlike in progressive utopia la la land, at the current moment the government does not have every dollar in the economy. The whole budget is a series of choices and not everything can be done at once. Besides, it is really though to dig out of the hole in teacher salaries that dumplin’, black, basnight and company left us in. I am sure you progressive were holding your collective tongues back then because you were not paid to eviscerate them.

  2. Alan

    February 10, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    And the Civitas word of the week is “eviscerate”. Haven’t heard much about state controlled media and pinko-commies for a while, what’s up?

  3. dubdub63

    February 11, 2014 at 8:58 am

    The rest of the story is more raises will be announced in the coming months. After a 4 year freeze by the previous Governor, the raise sends a message that they want to keep the younger teachers that have been leaving in droves to other states. It doesn’t make sense to educate the teachers here, then they go to other states to work. They are younger, recently educated with fresh ideas and IT skills. And there is no correlation between having a masters and being a better teacher, educator, relater, test scores, etc.

  4. Jennifer

    February 11, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    They may be younger and recently educated but they lack the experience, management skills, and classroom knowledge that those of us with more experience can provide. I would love a first year teacher to come and try to do my teaching job with students with autism with no support or management skills. I am just as educated and remain as ‘recently’ educated through professional development, classes, trainings, and other continuing education courses. I also have the same IT skills as these year one teachers.

  5. Meganne's

    February 11, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    DUBDUB63 how is that even logical to say that a Master’s degree does not make a better teacher? Let me ask you this: Do you want a doctor with an Associates in medicine (sic) or a Doctorate degree?

  6. LayintheSmakDown

    February 11, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Alan/ML, it is not the word of Civitas….it is the sanctioned word of BlueprintNC, hence a totally sanctioned position of the policy watch parent company.

  7. Tim

    February 12, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Not surprising here. Legislators think teaching is all we can do. Unfortunately, the only answer to dealing with this program is for us to begin a mass exodus and show the public we truly can do something else.