Senate GOP leader claims he has plan to raise N.C. teacher pay to tops in the southeast

Berger pre-KIt’s short on details for the moment, but state Senate President Phil Berger, a Republican from Rockingham County, is claiming today that the Senate GOP will be pushing a budget plan that would raise the state’s teacher pay ranking to first in the southeast.

A few details about the plan can be found at this site, although note that accessing the details will require you to enter your name, an email address and your zip code.

According to the site, the new average teacher pay would come in just under $55,000, and the new national ranking would be 24th. Of course, that ranking estimate is likely based on the assumption that no other states approve raises for teachers.

The most recent ranking from the nonpartisan National Education Association pegged North Carolina this year at about 41st in the nation. 

Berger’s office said the Senate proposal would also speed teachers’ path to the state’s $50,000 cap on annual teacher pay, reaching that threshold after about 15 years of experience. Currently, teachers take 25 years to reach that mark, although public school advocates have often bemoaned that lawmakers have not moved to lift that $50,000 cap higher.

Such a plan would likely come as something of a surprise to many public school advocates as the Senate, compared to the state House, has often skewed farther to the right on K-12. A budget plan approved last week in the House offers modest teacher raises depending on a teacher’s experience, although the average raise would be about 4 percent.

In announcing the plan Wednesday, Berger’s office also took the opportunity to fire a few shots at the “liberal” media.

From Berger’s post:

Democrats, teachers unions and liberal editorial boards have made teacher pay and school funding their political rallying cry since Republicans won control of the state House and Senate in 2010 – accusing the conservative majorities of starving public schools and short-changing educators. They often cite national union rankings that leave North Carolina in the low 40s in teacher pay.

But comparing even the current teacher salaries to the old plan Democrats left in the wake of a $2.5 billion budget deficit tells a different story. Over the past two years, legislative leaders and Governor McCrory partnered to pass a significant raise that lifted starting teacher pay from $30,000 to $35,000. The Senate plan announced Wednesday was an even more devastating blow to the liberal mindmeld – it could move North Carolina as many as 23 spots in the same teacher pay rankings.

We’re still awaiting more details on the Senate budget. We’ll keep you posted.


  1. Lulu Wise

    May 25, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    This is their only hope for re-election – A desperate move on their part- Can you see thru it?

  2. Another Bill

    May 25, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Ah, $50,000 cap on pay in there. So no raises after you get there. Step raises still a thing of the past.

  3. Mark Howard

    May 25, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    This is the classic GOP approach – leading from behind. Let things degrade to the breaking point and then swoop in like heroes in damage control mode just before the elections. I feel sorry for any NC voters who are eating this up like candy. The point here is that we wouldn’t be having this discussion and no rescue would be necessary if they did the right thing in the first place. Don’t get me wrong – I’m glad the teachers may be getting a long-deserved raise, what I don’t like is the GOP playing politics with their livelihood at the expense of our children.

  4. RenMan

    May 25, 2016 at 7:32 pm


    capped at $50K

    yet, saying average will be just shy of $55K.

    WOW, isn’t that Common Core math just wonderful!

  5. George

    May 25, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Average graphics and few details C-

  6. George

    May 25, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    From Above


    capped at $50K

    yet, saying average will be just shy of $55K”

    *Average salaries include local supplements – The real plan is to push expenses to the local level…Republican leaders like inequalities.

  7. Bill

    May 26, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    I do not believe the Governor, NC Senate or House respect educators with 25 or more year.
    Perhaps it is about age discrimination. Wanting to force older teachers out who make more than
    35,000. This is certainly not like what these above folks were address orginally, which was
    performace based pay. I quess that proved too politically negative for them.
    It is all about them getting re-elected. Maybe they should rotate off the dole and get
    real jobs and let someone else run for their offices/positions; without bias.

  8. Emma Morris

    June 5, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    I am finishing year 28. I drive a bus, teach AP Stats, Pre Calculus, AFM, Math 2, and 3. I take up money at football games and I don’t deserve a raise??

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