N.C. Policy Watch reported this week on the humdrum response to Gov. Pat McCrory’s big teacher pay announcement, an announcement that coupled one-time bonuses for teachers with an average 5 percent pay raise.
Now, like many education advocates who spoke out this week, The News & Observer‘s editorial board has joined a chorus criticizing McCrory and his GOP colleagues in the N.C. General Assembly for failing to do more when it comes to teacher pay.
The editorial wrote that the state’s public school teachers have developed a “strong sense of skepticism about Republican plans to help them.”
As we reported Wednesday, the announcement did not offer specifics on who would receive the raises, a key point here because most advocates point out some of the state’s most experienced teachers have been neglected in recent GOP-led teacher raises or bonuses.
Currently, North Carolina’s average public school teacher pay is mired at 42nd in the nation, exceeding about $47,000. McCrory’s plan would bring average teacher pay to about $50,000, still trailing the leaders in the southeast: Georgia, which pays its teachers an average of about $53,000.
From the N&O:
McCrory’s proposal has some appealing aspects and any increase in base pay is welcome, but at its heart his proposal is an attempt to get past November without having teachers in a full uproar.
Teachers will take the salary increase estimated to cost $250 million. But they don’t really want one-time bonuses estimated to cost $165 million. What they want are fair, predictable state salaries that increase with their experience and aren’t capped at $50,000. What McCrory proposes is giving cash to teachers in an election year when tax revenues are strong. When circumstances are otherwise, teachers will go without.