Document outlines teacher pay raises in budget deal

Posted July 30, 2014

— One of the most frequently asked questions about the pending state budget deal is how exactly the teacher pay raises would work. 

Legislative leaders said Tuesday that teachers would get a raise that amounts to 7 percent on average. The actual percentage varies depending on how long someone has taught. 

Representatives of the N.C. Association of Educators call the 7 percent number "inflated" because it counts longevity pay earned by those who have been teaching 10 years or more. 

Longer-serving teachers, in particular, worry that they will see more modest pay raises without the current longevity pay scheme.

A document compiled by the legislature's Fiscal Research Division and obtained by WRAL News illustrates the answer to many of these questions. 

That chart shows that a teacher – who has a bachelors degree but no masters or national board certification – who has already taught 15 years in a school system would have made $39,650 in state-funded salary during the last school year. With longevity pay, that teacher's total pay would have been $40,542.

Under the proposed salary plan, there is no more longevity pay given as a lump-sum payment at the end of the year. Instead, that extra money would be split up among a teacher's paychecks throughout the year. 

So, that same teacher who is starting his or her 16th year would have a new total state-funded salary of $43,500. That's a 7.3 percent raises from the year 15 salary, and 6 percent more than what he or she would have made in the 16th year under the old system.

A chart with the jumps for a teacher making the move between the 15th and 16th years highlighted makes these differences easier to understand. 

No teacher would make less under the new pay scheme, although some very senior teachers, with around 30 years of experience, may see relatively small raises. Clearly, depending on what year a teacher is in, his pay raise could be more or less than the raise he would have seen under the old longevity pay system. 

Lawmakers and their staffers have said it was their intent to phase out longevity pay as a concept. Rather, they say, the money that used to go toward longevity is "baked in" to the new salary schedule. Still, teachers and their professional organization worry that unless the General Assembly grants future pay raises, teacher pay will fall off without the automatic longevity pay bumps. 

"They’re using the longevity to inflate their raises," said Marge Foreman, a lobbyist for NCAE "You can’t give me a raise with money you already owe me."

She also took issue with claims made by lawmakers Tuesday that this was the largest teacher pay raise in state history. Foreman pointed to raises during Gov. Jim Hunt's administration that ranged from 6 percent to 14 percent. The "largest pay raise" claim relies on raw dollars put into education, not the percentage raise going to each teacher. 


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  • snowblindkid Aug 1, 2014

    Its all based on a Nation Average that you are under payed so when its presented as an average 7% why to you point out the differences inside it? Are there not differences in the cost of living from state to state which impacts pay in that state? So why would we not look at the average 75 compared to our average 2.3%, its not 2.3% for all of us it goes up and down the same as it does for teachers. Always coming out on top in state government but always complaining. be happy with something could be nothing.

  • snowblindkid Aug 1, 2014

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    True this was on the teachers pay, DO YOU EVER SEE ANYTHING ABOUT THE REST OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES HIT THE HEAD LINES ABOUT OR RAISE? so where would you recommend i post a statement? I admit my statement did come off as to the teachers not caring but it was to the Government Leaders not caring. Sorry for the confusion of my direction. Seems to me they are doing teachers the way they did us with the career banning, new hires make the same as vested employees and they get nothing. But once in you are stuck there for us but history shows that the teachers will come out on top each year. And the comment that was made don't remember by which one that there main focus was to provide raises for the teachers, while the rest of the state employees are a side thought never a main focus.

  • momx3teaches Jul 31, 2014

    You took the words right out of my mouth, LAZYDAWGS58.

  • lazydawg58 Jul 31, 2014

    So if I am reading this correctly the state owes my a couple of thousand dollars (after taxes) that I earned in 2013-14 but they aren't going to pay me in September. Instead they are going to hold on to the money I earned and give it to me a little at a time over the next ten months. They are going to call that a pay raise for 2014-15 and longevity pay will no longer exist for teachers.

    Now if they pay me what they owe me for last year in one lump sum as they have in the past and then start over in this new year with no more longevity and a pay raise that would seem logical and fair. But if not I've just been ripped off by my own legislature.

  • MrX-- Jul 31, 2014

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    Special leave in recent years has been required to be taken within a year. Likely to keep people from saving it until retirement.

  • koneheadkennels Jul 31, 2014

    ITNEVER CHANGES FIY respectfully- you can have your pay put into 12 months or 10 months, no matter what it is the same pay. They take $1,000 out of my check every month for taxes. . .I pay them not everyone else who works. We work very hard. I wake up at 5:30 everyday to be there by 6:30 to do work before students arrive. Then the 7 hours with them and various meetings, planning, and paperwork keeps many people there until 6 p.m. or later. Most school functions that occur that we have to be there until 9p.m. I could go on and on with everything else we have to do and put up with but I'm going to leave it there. As I said a respectful FYI just wanted to give you some facts. Oh yea, and the many classes that we must attend out side of everything else to keep our license.

  • hiddentreasurescruecds Jul 31, 2014

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    I won't address everything that is inaccurate about your post except to make two points:

    1. Teachers don't get paid for their summers "off". A more accurate way to state it is to say they get laid off every summer.

    2. Teachers pay taxes too. So if you "pay" their salaries then I guess teachers pay their own salaries as well.

  • same ole story Jul 31, 2014

    Please tell me again "how hard they work?" while sitting around the house ALL SUMMER!!!! While I get up EVERY MORNING to go to work to pay their salaries?????? It must be very stressful to pick the right sun tan lotion ..... You want more money then start earning it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • koneheadkennels Jul 31, 2014

    FJSMSS2099 Turnover during 0-5 years is from college not adequately preparing us as well as the situations at a school that we are put into. If you get in a 'bad' school right out the gate you get a bad opinion about teaching and the way teachers are treated behind the scenes. Therefore why would you want to keep teaching?

    So they take the new ppls bonus to pay the old people and hardly give us a raise at all. SMH!You hear all these school officials saying they would rather have new teachers b/c they are up to date on the latest practices and the administration can also mold them to teach in the way they want them to. This article says a 15 year teacher making 39K . . . I can work full time and earn management at Mcdonald's and make that much rather than doing all the extra work that a teacher has to do and most likely get better benefits too! What's the difference in a raise or our bonus???? NOTHING!

  • Tom Boswell Jul 31, 2014
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    The media, Merrill, and teachers are citing the turnover rate as a major problem when teachers raises are concerned. According to the NEA's web site the highest turnover rate among teachers is in the 0-5 years in experience. If the raise is just average with the less experience teachers receiving more than teachers you have the above three to blame. By the way according to the NEA's web site the national turnover rate is 17% and for North Carolina it is 14%. Wake County announced that 612 out of 9000 teachers left which is a turnover rate less than 7%. The supporting documentation shows that 312 of the 612 departures are to retirement, family relocation, death, disability and nothing to do with pay or dissatisfaction.