Starting teacher pay tops governor's budget list

Posted April 16, 2014

— Gov. Pat McCrory said Wednesday that raising pay for beginning teachers is the top priority for his education budget for the upcoming year.

During a meeting of the Governor's Education Cabinet in Raleigh, McCrory and other state education leaders rolled out his budget priorities for education in the upcoming year.

Eric Guckian, the governor’s education adviser, said the administration will ask state lawmakers to raise base K-12 teacher pay to $35,000 by 2015. It’s currently $30,800, lower than any surrounding state. 

"The first step of that will occur in the short session” this summer, Guckian added.

The next item on the governor’s list is a pay increase for teachers, educators and other state employees “in accordance with available revenue.” However, McCrory warned, it may not happen this year.  

"The budget is very tight still,"he cautioned. "Medicaid continues to be a very tough issue."

Other education leaders and agency heads outlined their respective priorities as well. 

State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson, also representing the State Board of Education, listed educator salary increases and more funding for textbooks and instructional materials.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos, who oversees pre-kindergarten and child care programs, said her agency would focus on expanding slots for the 1,915 at-risk 4-year-olds on the waiting list for those programs.  

University of North Carolina President Tom Ross listed higher pay for faculty and staff, as well as repealing a tuition increase for out-of-state students and rolling back program reductions made in recent years. 

North Carolina Community College System President Scott Ralls made a pitch for higher salaries as well. He said community college instructors in North Carolina rank 41st in pay in the country and 12th in the Southeast.  

McCrory said more budget recommendations would be forthcoming over the next few weeks as current and projected Medicaid spending numbers become clearer.

"We’re waiting this year longer than we waited last year so we can get the latest up-to-date data,"  he said. "There are a lot of difficult choices."


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  • Doug Pawlak Apr 22, 2014
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    Yeah, its now a "top priority" after all the other priorities. Like two rounds of tax cuts.

  • Sally Bethune Apr 21, 2014
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    They only reason McCrory is even thinking about raising teacher pay is because of the Nov. election. He DOES NOT, nor do his cronies in the GA and Pope care about teachers or school children (our future). If he did care, he would have not lowered taxes on the top 5% of NC's richest people, you know, the ones whose kids go to private school! That tax cut could have given teachers a modest raise McCrory's first year in office. To me the saddest thing is our State as a whole didn't care about shortening unemployment benefits or cutting people off the welfare rolls or the mess with Wos and her incompetent, overpaid crowd or denying other options to the ACA other than BCBS, or the GA's insane laws on guns on playgrounds and bars or the loosening of the environmental laws or all the other laws passed that drug the state back 25 years. It is all about getting reelected, power, money, influence....not the people of NC!

  • Larry Lynch Apr 19, 2014
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    boy now that's a bright idea- give starting teachers a raise and ignore the 4, 5, 6 ,7 year teachers. tell me once more how gov nor mc managed to stay mayor of charlotte becuz he has been a naïve inexperienced DIASTER since his team of cronies and him have hit Raleigh.

  • Smilester Apr 17, 2014

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    Really? At one point we ranked 25th in the country in teacher pay under the Democrats. The only reason McCrory is talking about teacher pay is because of the debacle called the "education reform" from this past year. Teachers are running out of this state. They have no money to pay teachers because the GOP is too busy cutting their rich friends taxes. I will believe it when I see it.

  • bigpoppa502007 Apr 17, 2014

    This state has not given teachers a pay raise in 6 years , one reason why my wife is quitting also , she said not even double pay can keep her here, NC has wronged teachers too long , 1 more to the count of lost teachers here.

  • ncsense Apr 17, 2014

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    What in the heck are you talking about? Gov. Jim Hunt made raising teacher pay to the national average a goal and reached it. Pay began to stagnate only in response to recession. As the state began pulling out of the recession, it was the Republican legislature that decided it was more important to cut taxes that meet its salary obligations to teachers.

  • goldenosprey Apr 17, 2014

    Doesn't seem like it was a real problem for the administration until polling showed they really messed up on this.

    If and when the GA deigns to throw a few more crumbs at teachers it will be too late for a lot of experienced educators teaching in other states or doing other jobs.

    Republicans can't maintain their base of low-info voters while maintaining a decent educational system. When dems had the gov's office and the GA and we weren't in the worst recession since the depression, teacher pay was pretty average, arfamr.

  • Taffy Apr 17, 2014

    Pay your existing teachers FIRST! How stupid can you be? We're losing better, more experienced teachers that we'll gain from kids fresh out of college. Going cheap for the long haul.

  • Greg Boop Apr 17, 2014
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    Gov McCrory is going to throw starting teachers a small bone - hoping to stop the uproar over the Republican decimation of public education in our state.

  • Deb Rodgers Apr 17, 2014
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    McCrory, in your attempt to raise pay for beginning teachers, don't forget about those that have taught at schools already. Nothing will divide a teaching staff more than having first year teachers making more than veteran teachers.