Commentary, News

As McCrory holds roundtable on teacher pay, some veteran educators remain disappointed

MC_Career-PathwayGovernor Pat McCrory will be in Johnston County Wednesday morning for a back-to-school tour and roundtable discussion on teacher pay.

The governor has been active this week trying to draw attention to a pledge that the average public school teacher in North Carolina will make $50,000 during this school year.

But a fact check by WRAL finds the claim fails to acknowledge how local supplements raise a teacher’s base pay:

…a significant part of the $50,000 benchmark cited by McCrory and state lawmakers is chipped in by local governments, and because bigger school systems with more teachers tend to pay bigger supplements, they tend to pull the statewide average up.

The fact that, without local supplements, average teacher pay would be well below $50,000 is not well documented in ads for either the governor or lawmakers.

The Winston Salem Journal’s editorial board explains the compensation issue this way:

…the raises neglected our most experienced educators.

“State base-pay increases are all over the board,” Kerry Crutchfield, budget director for the district, said, “ranging from no increase at all for educators in their 33rd year and above, to 2 percent for educators in the 25-32 year range and 2- to 13 percent for teachers with other experience levels.”

So while many of our district’s teachers had increases in salaries, about 100 got nothing at all from the state.

We’re glad that the local system stepped in. But this doesn’t absolve any of the responsibility our state leaders have to see that our teachers are fairly and adequately compensated. Yes, they’ve done some, and the raises they’ve supplied are welcome, but more is needed before they can say they’ve done enough.

Finally, Keith Poston of the Public School Forum tells NC Policy Watch the frustration extends beyond the paycheck. Many North Carolina teachers are having to spend any modest increase on classroom supplies:

Our full interview with Poston can be accessed here.

Gov. McCrory will be meeting with select teachers at 9:15am at Riverwood Middle School in Clayton.

View the state’s Certified Educator Salary Schedule for teachers and certified instructional support here.

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