*This post has been updated to reflect comments from Senate budget writer Harry Brown indicating that all state employees AND teachers will receive $750 bonuses during the 2015-16 fiscal year.
The News & Observer is reporting that House and Senate leaders have reached an agreement on how much to pay teachers and state employees for this fiscal year, nearly two months after their June 30 deadline for making these decisions.
All state employees, including teachers, will receive $750 bonuses toward the end of 2015, said Sen. Harry Brown (R-Onslow). That amounts to $62.50 per month, before taxes.
Making good on last year’s promise, beginning teachers will also see their base pay rise to $35,000 per year, up from $33,000 that was enacted last year.
Experienced teachers will also receive step increases, presumably as laid out in the state’s streamlined salary schedule, which lawmakers enacted last year—although budget documents detailing the step increases were not made available Wednesday. (See here for the 2014-15 salary schedule.)
It’s unclear whether teachers who are scheduled for step increases as well as beginning teachers will be paid retroactively beginning with the July 1 start of the fiscal year.
A spokeswoman for House Speaker Tim Moore said their priority will be to focus on “shoring up funds so we can give meaningful raises” next year, according to the N&O.
For a teacher with 15 years of experience and a bachelor’s degree, receiving a step increase will mean jumping up from a base salary of $40,000 to $43,500 (excluding local supplements). Step increases for teachers are scheduled every five years, stopping at year 25 and capping base salary at $50,000.
WRAL reports that budget negotiators are still discussing how much of a pay increase to give state retirees. And there’s no resolution yet about teacher assistants—the Senate wants to slash 8,500+ TA jobs in exchange for reducing classroom size, while the House wants to preserve those positions.
House Speaker Tim Moore announced Wednesday that the General Assembly will pass a third continuing resolution tomorrow. The measure, which will keep state government operations running as lawmakers finalize a budget, will run through September 18—although they hope to reach a final agreement sooner, at which time the above mentioned raises & bonuses will be set in law.