Local News

Cumberland County: Wake teacher supplements hurt other districts

Posted October 22, 2015

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Cumberland County Schools Superintendent Frank Till Jr. says higher teacher salaries offered by Wake County complicate the ability of surrounding districts to attract and retain educators.

"The whole state of North Carolina is faced with a challenge, and that’s why I’m complimentary of Wake County and what they’re doing," Till said. "They’re taking it upon themselves to find dollars inside their county to begin to move towards a competitive pay schedule.”

Wake County on Tuesday approved a $16 million local supplement to fund increased teacher salaries across the board, with raises ranging from $900 for less-experienced teachers to $2,250 for those with 30 or more years in the classroom.

Before the raise, teachers in Wake County made an average of about $2,400 more per year than those in Cumberland County, Till said.

Teacher pay across the state is a mix of a state-mandated minimum plus any local supplement approved by a county board of commissioners. The current baseline is $35,000 per year for a new teacher and a minimum of $50,000 for a teacher with 25 years of experience.

“Until we have a comprehensive look at the teacher shortage in North Carolina and do a better job of paying, it’s going to get worse. It’s not going to get better,” Till said.

The new Wake County salary schedule is part of a five-year plan to meet or exceed the pay offered in similar districts nationwide, according to officials. All changes are retroactive to July 1, 2015.

Cumberland County Associate Superintendent of Business Operations Clyde Locklear said teachers there get a local supplement, but he was hesitant to offer specifics.

"The supplement is a fixed dollar amount and is graduated based on teacher experience," he said in a statement.

6 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Mike Slawter Oct 22, 2015
    user avatar

    Perhaps Cumberland could lean on the state for more funds. Hire a better legislative liaison/lobbyist for their district. It is sad, but larger systems with a larger tax base are going to be able to do things others cannot.

  • Laura Collins Oct 22, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    The problem isn't the budget, its the spending.

  • Chester Flippo Oct 22, 2015
    user avatar

    Really? Does WRAL quote anyone's opinion as a news story? Do they not vet their sources? Is this the sam Frank Till Jr. who was taking 200,000 to run Big brother and Big sister? And seems to have no problem with stealing public money meant for kids?Where was his sense of propriety then? I guess sacrifice is only for other people. http://www.browardbeat.com/frank-till-out-at-boys-girls-club/

  • Kevin Coulter Oct 22, 2015
    user avatar

    Tom,
    Please take your lies about teacher turnover rates back to Buncombe County. People in Wake County are looking for solutions to the problem of teacher recruitment and retention. There are hundreds of unfilled teaching positions in WCPSS and many, many, many more across the state.

  • Kevin Coulter Oct 22, 2015
    user avatar

    Tom,
    How is is Wake County tax bills going? I don't believe that you pay Wake County taxes. So, please take your lies about teacher turnover rates back to Buncombe County. People in Wake County are looking for solutions to the problem of teacher recruitment and retention. There are hundreds of unfilled teaching positions in WCPSS and many, many, many more across the state. Unless other school districts increase their teacher incentives, WCPSS will attract the best teachers from these counties. I don't see how WCPSS raise in teacher salaries will hurt other districts. These districts will have to fairly compensate their teachers to retain them just like in the business world. WCPSS didn't create a problem they are fixing the problem that has been created by the current General Assembly. Tom is just one of the pawns in the game of ruining public education in NC. Wake County values public education I wish other parts of the state would too.

  • Tom Boswell Oct 22, 2015
    user avatar

    The lies and deceit again coming from Wake County School Board, Commissioners and Merrill. The NEA states the national turnover rate is 17%. North Carolina's rate is 14%. This year Wake hires 1,000 new teachers out of 10,000. This is a turnover rate of 10% but this includes new positions so based on Wake's growth rate it is considerably less than 10%. Our real estate taxes have increased by over 15.3% in two years. Look at the future increases. In November of 2016 they will be presenting a billion dollar school bond that will increase it another 11%. The school system’s plan to increase new teachers’ salaries would step up $16 million per year for five years, adding up to $80 million annually by the fiscal year 2020. Along with other costs, that could create deficits of $20 million per year. If 48 million increased our taxes 7% % this year than just salary increases of 16 million will increase our rate 2.3% a year for the next five years. Add these up.