State News

Senate Dems drop proposed teacher pay raise

Posted May 11, 2010

— Senate Democrats said Tuesday that their budget proposal will contain neither pay raises for teachers nor a bonus for all state employees to pay them back for last year's furlough.

Gov. Beverly Perdue sought the items in her budget proposal last month, but Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight said that both would be left out of the spending plan the Senate rolls out next week.

State budget Senate budget priorities not same as Perdue's

Both the House and the Senate reconvene Wednesday for the so-called "short session."

Perdue wanted lawmakers to restore the longevity-based salary increase for teachers suspended last year due to the bad economy. She also wanted to give employees and teachers a bonus equal to 0.5 percent of their salaries.

Basnight, D-Dare, said it's hard to justify pay increases when the unemployment rate is so high. He and other top Democrats said they will use the money Perdue earmarked for pay raises to keep more teachers in the classroom, keep class sizes down and drastically reduce discretionary cuts.

The lawmakers agreed with the governor that they must place an emphasis on economic growth and job creation initiatives.

Senate leaders said they might raise some fees to improve the state's transportation infrastructure, but they plan to fill most of the projected $788 million deficit for the 2010-11 fiscal year with a mix of federal stimulus dollars and cuts.

The challenge, they said, is to make sure they don't cut too deep.

"You just got to be careful you don't have unintended consequences and long-range consequences," Senate Majority Leader Martin Nesbitt said. "We can all suffer a little pain for a short period of time to get through this, but you just try not to make decisions that damage your ability to grow out of this when times turn around for us."

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  • watchingthem May 12, 7:44 p.m.

    They are quick to freeze teacher step increases but nothing has been said about the highway patrol's automatic 5% step increase.

  • TheBellTollsForThee May 12, 4:18 p.m.

    Also, the site says that those are actual numbers from March 2010. So if I were you, I would be asking questions to see where my money was.

  • TheBellTollsForThee May 12, 4:16 p.m.

    Sorry, I meant look at the Highway Patrol first page; those are the numbers I was comparing. As for NC_GobblerHunter, I wonder if you have a degree or read all of my post? I stated that if you have a GED/high school diploma, not to get mad when someone with a higher degree earns more money. I also posted that it went for ALL state employees, not just teachers. Also, you added in the National Board Certification for the top-out, which most average teachers do not have. I agree that salaries should be the same across the board for ALL state employees; it would just depend upon your certification and degrees. I think we need cops (and et. al) just as much as we need teachers.

    My point, in giving people access to the numbers, was that if you look at the numbers in all the different areas, a vast amount of state employees make more than teachers.

  • NC_GobblerHunter May 12, 3:28 p.m.

    TheBellTollsForThee chose to compare DOC salaries to teachers. The advertised Salary Range for a correctional is Pay Grade 62 ($27309 - $43576). This is from a step pay plan that was passed in the 90's and has NEVER BEEN FUNDED. In reality my base pay is $31.423 w/ 16yrs of service. Starting pay for a NC teacher w/ Bachelor's Degree is $30,430 (this is from the '09-'10 Teacher's Salary Schedule)which tops out at $58,860 for 32+ yrs w/ NBPTS Certification. BTW: w/16 yrs of service a teacher is in the low to mid $40's salary range. Good try but, the numbers say different. If the state is intent on balancing the budget on the state employees' backs, then it should be the same across the board for us all. Oh, and that gallon of gas and loaf of bread cost you and me the same price at the register..........

  • nceducator79 May 12, 1:10 p.m.

    Well said, TheBellTollsForThee. Teachers have college degrees, they have to pay to keep up certifications. Why shouldn't a teacher make more money than someone without a degree? And why should state employees pay to balance the budget crisis? I can't complain too much...as a teacher our step increases are anywhere from $400-800 a year, depending on your step. But, losing that two years in a row, starts to add up.

  • kal May 12, 12:50 p.m.

    If we some of the HIGHEST taxes in the southeast, why is there no money?

  • TheBellTollsForThee May 12, 12:06 p.m.

    Our pay scale for National Board teachers skews the scale so that the average looks higher than it actually is for regular teachers. Average Joe Public is not really aware of what teachers make. Enlighten yourself. Go to the website. And knock off about $12,000 or so dollars to know what the bring-home pay is for that teacher.

    It is time to stop the "regular state employee" and "teacher" division. If you have the skills, you should make the pay. Whatever your job is - teacher, cop, fireman. If all you have is a GED/high school diploma, do not get mad when someone with a college degree - or two- makes more. If you have a bachelor's degree, don't be mad when someone with a master's/doctorate makes more.

    Right now, our society is based on awards. Generally, people with degress - bachelor's, master's, doctorates - or those with specialized skills make more.

    Just something to think about.

  • cjo32 May 12, 11:33 a.m.

    Home of corrupt Democrats...Love it.

  • TheBellTollsForThee May 12, 10:41 a.m.

    As a teacher on her planning, perusing the news for a current event, I have to comment once. It is interesting that the state employees are divided into two groups - "regular" and "teacher." It is also interesting to note the raise issue. On this website: http://apps.newsobserver.com/know/osp/

    you can view the salaries of all NC state employees. On this website, you can view the teacher salaries for NC: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/fbs/finance/salary/schedules/2009-10schedules.pdf.

    Please compare and note that there are A LOT of state employees - cops, etc... - that make more than teachers who have reached their full 32 years. In fact, when I pulled up "Dept. of Corrections", on the first page I saw many making more than what I - a teacher - make now. I typed in "receptionist" and saw one making about $15,000 more than I make right now.

    I am not saying I want a raise right now. I am saying that NC does not pay its teachers anywhere close to the national average. Our

  • cmcphail May 12, 10:20 a.m.

    When you sacrifice the education of your future, you sacrifice the future of your state...or Country. The United States is already severely lacking in education standards when compared to the rest of the world, and the end result is going to be a weaker and less apt generation, which will result in even more inept leadership when it is their time to lead. Education, on any level should be the last thing affected by budget cuts. You dont make your children pay for the mistakes of a generation that they have no control over. You cut out education pay raises, bonuses or what have you and you will drive the teachers out of this state, which will result in even less prepared adults that are ready to enter the workforce, or go to college.

    As far as treating all State Employees the same, I believe there are numerous areas where money that is being used to fund some worthless focus group, or panel, or some other Pork Barrel spending that could be eliminated, as they serve no other purp

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