McCrory calls for changes to teacher pay structure

Posted January 14, 2014

Gov. Pat McCrory

— In addition to seeking raises for teachers this year, Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday that he would like to overhaul their pay structure so the best teachers and those in competitive fields are compensated appropriately.

Addressing a group of state lawmakers at a Greensboro retreat hosted by the Hunt Institute, McCrory said he and education adviser Eric Guckian would roll out details of their plans in the coming weeks.

The governor said the initiatives are built on the framework of rewarding and respecting teachers and allowing them to advance professionally in the classroom.

"They all feel like they're walked over," he said of teachers, who have balked at a raft of legislation passed last year by the Republican-controlled General Assembly, including the elimination of tenure rights for veteran teachers and the elimination of extra pay for teachers with advanced degrees.

North Carolina ranks near the bottom nationally in teacher pay, and McCrory and legislative leaders have vowed to work this year on providing raises to teachers and state employees, who have seen their pay increased by only 1 percent since 2008.

"We all know the rankings, and they're not good," McCrory said. "We've got to look for the funds to do better."

Aside from that, however, he said North Carolina needs to be more innovative in how teachers are paid and not work simply off a scale that rewards seniority. He suggested tying pay to market demand or the field in which a teacher has a degree.

He said, for example, that good science and math teachers are harder to find than a good physical education teacher because people with science and math training are more in demand in the private sector, which can pay much higher salaries than school districts can afford.

McCrory also said many teachers are forced to move out of the classroom into administrative positions if they want higher pay, so the state is losing some of its top teachers.

“We ought to have an opportunity for teachers to be some of the highest-paid employees at a school," he said. "It doesn’t always have to be the principal, although they deserve it too."

The governor also addressed educational standards and technology during the 25-minute speech.

While praising improved graduation rates, he noted that test scores have been flat in recent years. That points to "a disconnect" between getting students through high school and providing them the skills needed to succeed in life, he said, and North Carolina needs to erase that if it hopes to compete internationally.

Regarding technology, he said the state needs a comprehensive plan for integrating digital resources in classrooms so districts aren't blindly spending money on systems that aren't compatible.


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  • missup2001 Jan 21, 2014

    I didn't "flunk" anything in high school nor college. I had high SAT scores and was awarded full scholarships to top universities. I hold 2 degrees and 3 minors. I chose to be a teacher, not because of any failing on my part, but to help children. I find it rude and disrespectful to have that said about me.

  • wildpig777 Jan 20, 2014

    the gov nor prolly thinks the average wage of the average nc worker is that of the average duke power employee..... never trust a big bizness gov nor if you are a middle class 40 hr a week rank and file employee. now for the record-- the demos have an established record of setting this state backwards as well.

  • PanthersFan45 Jan 17, 2014

    View quoted thread

    I would agree and its a lousy opinion. I knew a couple of liberal arts and Math majors in college that entered the teaching profession and they did not flunk out of anything. Everyone has an interest and though teaching may not have been their 1st choice (as a profession) they have gone on to become very succesful teachers that have recieved high marks from both parents and peers.

  • Plenty Coups Jan 16, 2014

    Kenny-"So, that's enough, huh? Well more than twice the average NC working person. "

    Good golly. Somebody should investigate then what nurses make, or what human resource managers make, or computer programmers. They're all waaay above what the average NC person makes. And to think that going to an expensive college and getting an education makes them better than the average worker. Who do they think they are?

  • kennylogginscousin Jan 16, 2014

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    I've spent way too much time on this thread of comments. As a parting gift, I will refer you to my initial comment, along with a rallying cry for those of you who will undoubtedly continue this fight:

    Equality! Forward! Not one step back! No Regressives in the GA! Progress (as long as it's 27%)!

  • kennylogginscousin Jan 16, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Have you contacted Human Resources?

  • 40YRTEACHER Jan 16, 2014

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    beg your pardon. my paycheck proves you wrong there.

  • westernwake1 Jan 16, 2014

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    The average salary for an individual with a 4 year degree working in North Carolina is $58,700 (2011 figure). As expected the average salary with a degree is approx. twice for those without a degree.

    If you don't want the best teachers leaving the state then pay a salary aligned with neighboring states. It is a competitive job market (just like the private sector), and if you want to best and brightest employees you at minimum need to pay the average wage in the free marketplace.

    The state of North Carolina has wasted more than $61 Million on the recent IT project they cancelled this week.

  • kennylogginscousin Jan 16, 2014

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    I'm sorry, I was way off. The per capita annual income in 2012 in NC was $25,285.


    The average annual salary for NC teachers was $45,967.


    How's that for equality?

    An increase to $58,700 would be an increase of $12,733 per teacher, or 27.7%, on average.

    Now, according to Senate Bill 402 (the budget), classroom teacher spending will be $220.6 million in FY 13-14.

    A 27% increase would cost the state $61 million -- and that's just for classroom teachers, not everyone else in public education.

    So, that's enough, huh? Well more than twice the average NC working person.

    Again, I must say: it will never be enough. Ever.

  • Plenty Coups Jan 16, 2014

    View quoted thread

    You have nothing to substantiate this but opinion. And it's a ridiculous opinion.