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

Posted By Lindsay Wagner On February 10, 2014 @ 11:54 am In Uncategorized | Comments Disabled

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 [1] 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.


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URL to article: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/02/10/mccrory-gop-teacher-pay-plan-benefits-less-than-a-third-of-nc-teachers/

URLs in this post:

[1] teacher pay plan: http://www.governor.state.nc.us/newsroom/press-releases/20140210/state-leaders-announce-plan-raise-starting-teacher-pay

[2] The quick and dirty on Gov. McCrory’s teacher pay plan : http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/05/07/the-quick-and-dirty-on-gov-mccrorys-teacher-pay-plan/

[3] McCrory pushes plan to pay beginning teachers more, hopes for raises for all teachers : http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/04/16/mccrory-pushes-plan-to-pay-beginning-teachers-more-hopes-for-raises-for-all-teachers/

[4] Is the Senate’s teacher pay plan a clever way to keep teachers from retiring with pensions? : http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/06/06/is-the-senates-teacher-pay-plan-a-clever-way-to-keep-teachers-from-retiring-with-pensions/

[5] On the eve of the session, Gov. McCrory pushes his career pathway plan for teachers : http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/05/13/on-the-eve-of-the-session-gov-mccrory-pushes-his-career-pathway-plan-for-teachers/

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