Lawmakers, McCrory look at raising teacher pay in 2014

Posted December 3, 2013

— State lawmakers and Gov. Pat McCrory appear to be in agreement that they will increase teacher pay next year, but the legislative session is more than five months away and the details of the plan remain foggy.

North Carolina's teachers are among the lowest paid in the country, and they haven't seen a real raise in six years. Republican legislative leaders are vowing to change that and are working on a proposal to revamp the entire teacher pay system, including bumping up starting salaries for beginning teachers.

"You will see some significant legislation, more than likely in the short session, that will require several hundred million dollars," said Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, a Senate budget-writer. "We're looking now to find the place to find that, and I think we've got some areas that will produce the revenue."

Tillman wouldn't say Tuesday where the money will come from, but he said lawmakers won't raise taxes.

Rep. Linda Johnson, R-Cabarrus, an education budget-writer for the House, said lawmakers wanted to give teachers raises this year but couldn't afford it because of another overrun in Medicaid spending.

"I don't think there's anyone in the General Assembly, be it Democrat or Republican, that doesn't agree that a pay raise is due," Johnson said.

McCrory said raising teacher pay will be one of his top goals for 2014.

"We will definitely have some proposals from the Governor's Office for the short session," McCrory said.

Classroom generic Teachers not counting on promises of raises

Despite the promises, teachers aren't holding their breath on the raises, said Brian Lewis, political director for the North Carolina Association of Educators.

"There's a lot of skepticism about what's coming out of here," Lewis said. "Teachers have been promised a lot over the last five or six years, and that goes back a couple of administrations."

Teachers also are angry about issues such as the loss of tenure rights, which lawmakers eliminated this year, he said.

"A lot of legislators are going in and talking to teachers, and they're coming out with an earful," he said.

Lawmakers may revisit another change from this year's session, the elimination of extra pay for teachers with advanced degrees.

Johnson said she's confident that lawmakers will reinstate the extra money in 2014.

"I think, once people understood what the master's degree is and the professionalism that's added with that in the classroom, I think we're all in agreement that that really was a mistake," she said.


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  • Volvo2 Dec 6, 2013

    McCrory's pay plan to award the top 25% of teachers hasn't happened as promised either. Many teachers went on the EVASS system to see their percentages from last years EOGs. None of us have been congratulated nor have we seen the promised bonus .

  • ospreysilver Dec 5, 2013

    The truth is that NC Government honestly doesn’t care or have any real incentive to address state employee pay concerns! It’s a fact that NC pays its states employee horribly, but what leverage or weight do state employees have to impose a real change? They can’t unionize or collective bargain;SEANC is joke; they can’t stop work to protest; most can’t find better jobs or afford to simply quit or relocate; no one wants to pay more taxes; half of private citizens see state employee’s as entitled and unproductive; and low pay and quality life isn’t a problem for the big wigs in Raleigh who make the final decisions. The Governor is like the Captain of the Titanic making sure the rich make it to the life boats, while the regular working class state employees get a life preserver for the freezing water and told to swim harder to stay warm!Perhaps if his pay was below 40K like a teachers he would see the importance!

  • barbstillkickin Dec 5, 2013

    Sure hope he also considers State Employees who keep the roads clean and the trains running and the lights working. These people work very hard and have not seen a raise in 6 years unless you count that 1% a year ago. My husband has to pay 600.00 dollars a month just for insurance for me and he got a raise of 6:00 dollars. Milk has doubled all food has gone u but all you people do is say how state employees have it made. Come and work one week with them and you will be surprised at how hard they work for YOU TO BE SAFE IN YOUR STATE. Just think what would happen if they walked off their jobs like these fast food people who already get paid more then they are worth. They need to speak English before I would give them a raise and the others need to learn how to be polite and get your order right. I am sorry but it really makes me mad when no one ever speaks up for state employees. They are just ignored by all. Without them you would be up a creek.

  • Bill Brasky Dec 4, 2013

    "No they did not. The public system has done nothing but deteriorate and become ever more expensive. By the way There is no such thing as a conservative democrat. It is time to completely REPLACE the current Government run public system. that is what is needed. With or without higher pay, the teachers have LITTLE chance of success inside the current system."

    Yes they did...and check your history books, the south was filled with conservative democrats until the 1960s when the jumped ship over civil rights...see Jesse helms

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Dec 4, 2013

    "Clearly a graduate of a Public School wrote this foolish statement." - whatelseisnew

    I'm sorry, whatelseisnew, but will you please explain exactly what you mean by that comment?

  • whatelseisnew Dec 4, 2013

    "This crowd has already determined that it is more important to pay back the feds for extended unemployment benefits years ahead of schedule and to turn down free money so poor folks had access to medical care than to pay teachers a decent wage.""

    Clearly a graduate of a Public School wrote this foolish statement. There is NO FREE MONEY. The Government TAKES money from people. the poor. Well sorry, but I have had a bellyful of being robbed for the benefit of someone else. You want the poor to have something, FINE, reach in YOUR pocket and give them YOUR money. Stay out of mine.

  • whatelseisnew Dec 4, 2013

    Well folks, get ready, the Government will be seizing even more of what little money you have left.

  • whatelseisnew Dec 4, 2013

    ""Whoa, the dems have been in control for what about 100 years. Why didn't the DEMS fix this years ago."

    They did, and were 26th in the nation up until a few years ago. Now your 100 years bumper sticker slogan was debunked about a thousand times already, considering conservative Democrats ran the state for a majority of that time, whom are modern day Republicans."

    No they did not. The public system has done nothing but deteriorate and become ever more expensive. By the way There is no such thing as a conservative democrat. It is time to completely REPLACE the current Government run public system. that is what is needed. With or without higher pay, the teachers have LITTLE chance of success inside the current system.

  • SMAPAEA Dec 4, 2013

    I'll believe it when I see it. Also...they are not the only state employees that had changes dealt to them, AND haven't seen significant raises in six years.

  • LEO 101 Dec 4, 2013

    So I guess the rest of the State Employees will not get a raise. The teachers are not the only State Employee??????????//!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!