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Wake School Board Gives Initial OK to Cutting Raises

Posted June 26, 2007

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— Wake County school board members gave tentative approval Tuesday to a plan to cut $4 million in proposed pay raises as a way to make up a $5 million budget shortfall for the 2007-2008 school year.

The board had hoped to award a 0.25 percent increase for teachers and a 1.23 percent increase for non-teaching staff in the county-funded supplemental pay above the state-funded salaries for their positions. Those boosts would be eliminated. Other cuts would come from pay raises for extra-duty employees such as coaches and band directors.

The board did decide that it should take $800,000 from its rainy-day fund to cover some expenses.

In Wake County, the current supplements for teachers range from $3,700 to about $13,000.

the school system's chief business officer said that even the small increases help the system compete for good employees.

"We're competing with the private sector. We're competing for bus mechanics and plumbers. We're competing in all of those areas," David Neter said.

With the supplements in place now, a starting teacher in Wake County can expect to make about $32,000 a year. A teacher with his or her master's degree and 15 years of service makes about $50,000 a year.

The school board is expected to take a final vote at its July 17 meeting.

School board members also decided to cut more than $190,000 that had been designated to start lacrosse programs at 19 high schools.

The decisions have some concerned.

"The thing I'm more concerned about is the ESP -- the support staff, the TAs, the bus drivers, the cafeteria workers," said Jennifer Lanane, president of the Wake County chapter of the North Carolina Association of Educators. "That 1.23 (percent) that they were going to add and now are talking about not adding, that concerns me because we're talking about the people making the least amount of money, and we're talking about having them balance the budget."

Last month, the school system requested $305 million to keep up with growth and the influx of students. Last week, the Wake County Board of Commissioners approved a 0.8 cent increase in the county property tax rate to give the school system $300 million.

This year's proposed county budget includes a property tax hike to help pay for growth. To put it in perspective, the owner of a $200,000 home will have to pay about $88 more in taxes.

The system will also use more than $800,000 from its reserve fund.

Some raise for school workers is not out of the question. The North Carolina Legislature is proposing raises for state employees: a 5 percent raise for teachers and a 4 percent raise for other school staff.

195 Comments

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  • chargernut69 Jun 28, 2007

    go after the builders & contractors for the extra money... charge impact fees! Taxpayers are getting screwed and the builders, contractors & politicians are getting rich.

  • NoToIllegals Jun 28, 2007

    If you notice my posting ID, it says it all!

    The REAL reasons this state cannot keep good teachers are too numerous to count but here are a few; Poor principals who can hire or fire you depending on who you kiss up to or what you wear. Of course there are lousy teachers, but they seem to stay put.
    Another reason is all the extra workload of meetings that are a waste of time, discipline problems that we cannot address, parents who are kids themselves and are not involved, kids who are sick but come to school, morale issues, burnout, high demand of performance evaluations based on student tests scores, paperwork that we do at home, phone calls, lack of planning time.

    These are just a few examples. The DEPT OF EDUCATION could care less about us peons in the low ranks. I have written every member to make justified complaints and never heard from ONE PERSON.

    Teachers are the lowest in rank -even below students. Expected to make each student equal which equates to SOCIALISM.

  • poohperson Jun 27, 2007

    A 5% raise is good where I come from. I have been thrilled to get is even when is was only a couple of thousand dollars for the year. Silly me..

    On the other hand their raises should not suffer because the BoE will not look into the budget and make some real cuts. The Lacrosse program is the only fluff that is being eliminated. Can you not plant less trees, recycle books for an extra year, or cut back on books purchased for the libraries (back in my time we used the public library). They could at least pretend like they took some time to review other alternatives, but they just pushed on ahead with their plan..

  • spamthissucka Jun 27, 2007

    Ah, we agree then, mominnc07.

  • wcnc Jun 27, 2007

    I didn't mean to make it sound like I think that state workers don't deserve good pay. I just mean that state workers are going to lose out to teachers on good raises just like county employees lose out on good raises because of funding to schools. Doesn't seem like there's much that can be done about it because if you say anything, it seems that you don't want teachers to be paid well- I jsut want teachers, state and county workers paid well- and I can keep dreaming!!!

  • wcnc Jun 27, 2007

    Hey, I live on a county employees salary, so I do feel for state workers. But I'd rather have a highly paid teacher than a highly paid state worker!! I don't want a well qualified teacher leaving the profession and a less than qualified person coming in their place. And I don't think that teachers should give up this raise, I think the administrators who recommended it should give up their raises!!

  • spamthissucka Jun 27, 2007

    mominnc07 - that's true, but teachers are state employees. The rest of the state employees will likely get 4% and no double-dip bonus from their counties. The fact that teachers perennially receive a higher raise than other state workers is already a slap in the face, thus my disbelief that the teachers are whining about the lack of a double-dip.

  • wcnc Jun 27, 2007

    "Let me get this straight, the state will already be giving teachers a 5% raise and there is whining because the county won't give them an ADDITIONAL raise?"

    For a teacher making about $40,000 per year, the 5% raise from the state is a whopping $2,000 per year, which is $166 per month (on a 12 month paycheck) BEFORE taxes!!! I don't know how the teachers' insurance premiums work, but if it is anything like the county plan, the monthly cost can go up anywhere from $11-100 per month each year. So, the great big $166 per month CAN end up being NOTHING!!! So, they DO deserve another 5% from the school system.

  • wcnc Jun 27, 2007

    "they are spending countless hours providing a service to your child that you can not provide."

    ACtually, parents can provide their children's schooling- it's called Homeschool, it's perfectly legal, it's on the rise and it's great for kids.........

    BUT, on the note about teachers. Teachers are overworked and during the school year, are underpaid. Remember that teachers who are off in the summer can choose to work an extra job. On the other hand, if schools go to year round, that option is lost and they deserve a pay raise to compensate for that...

  • spamthissucka Jun 27, 2007

    Let me get this straight, the state will already be giving teachers a 5% raise and there is whining because the county won't give them an ADDITIONAL raise?

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