Groups, governor differ on how to spend education money
Posted March 20, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — At a conference Thursday for school administrators in Raleigh, the Gov. Pat McCrory commiserated with those looking for greater investment in public schools, reiterating his plan to expand education spending in the state.
"We have a lot of work to do, and I understand that, and I am listening to you," he said.
"We increased over a billion dollars into teacher salaries -- a billion dollars."
Educators on hand said they appreciated the governor's efforts, but some say he hasn't gone far enough.
"They are spending more on public schools than they ever have spent, but they are also educating a lot more students," pointed out Catherine Joyce, executive director of the NC Association of School Administrators.
Joyce's group is pointedly non-political, but works to advise politicians of needs in schools.
Recent reports have ranked the state near the bottom on teacher raises and spending per pupil.
But those are not the most important metrics, said Eric Guckian, a McCrory advisor.
"I am more concerned with: Are our kids reading? And right now, we have some work to do on that front," he said.
Guckian pointed out elements of the governor's plan that would change how teacher pay raises would be determined.
"I think the question is, how are we going to reward teachers for their advanced roles and results-driven leadership," he said.
Some complain that while McCrory's proposed budget gives pay increases to teachers, only about a third of them statewide will actually benefit. Guckian said funds were focused on beginning teachers to make the state more competitive for new hires.
Joyce thinks the spending should be spread out.
"We are asking for an increased investment in every child in the state," she said.