Wake County Schools

Wake school board approves raises for teachers, certified staff

Posted February 3, 2015
Updated February 4, 2015

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— Lead teachers, media specialists and other Wake County Public School System certified staff will receive pre-tax raises ranging from $16.50 to $100 per month, depending on their years of service.

The raises, approved unanimously by the Wake County Board of Education Tuesday night, comes after district officials debated multiple ways to divide an extra $3.75 million from Wake County commissioners to raise teacher salaries.

“No matter which one of these we pick, the impact on employees will be minimal,” board member Bill Fletcher said. “It’s appreciated, but it’s far less than what we should be doing in Wake County.”  

For a teacher with a bachelor’s degree and 0-24 years, their paycheck will increase between $16.50 and $23 per month; $50 per month with 25-29 years; and $75 a month for those with 30 or more years.

Special education teachers with 0-24 years will receive $33 to $46 extra per month; $75 per month with 25-29 years; and $100 per month with 30 years or more.

Those receiving raises, which will be instituted immediately, also include psychologists, speech language pathologists and others paid from the teacher supplement schedule. District leaders also considered spreading the money equally among the district’s 10,000 teachers and awarding long-serving teachers who received a minimal state pay increase.

The extra money was initially for mitigating the impact associated with the new state teacher salary schedule, especially the five year plateau in-between teachers, but $3.75 million would not be enough to do that for 10,000 teachers, said David Neter, the district's chief business officer.

District leaders were thankful for any extra funds.

“It’s important to thank the county commissioners for (the school board) having the dilemma to figure out how to spread this money among out staff,” board member Kevin Hill said.

Teachers were appreciative as well.

"$10, $20 dollars, whatever we receive. It is definitely a marked increase in what we received from the General Assembly," said Paulette Jones, vice-president of the Wake County chapter of the North Carolina Association of Educators, who has taught for 35 years.

Some of the district’s lowest paid employees, including teacher assistants, custodians, bus drivers, physical therapists and occupational therapists, received a $1,250 one-time bonus in December. Those funds came from an $18.1 million fund to cover special projects.

Lawmakers approved teacher raises last year, but the amount teachers received depended on their years of experience. The new teacher pay schedule greatly benefited less experienced teachers – those entering their fifth and sixth years get 18.51 percent raises under the plan – but a teacher entering their 30th year of teaching will see only a 0.29 percent pay raise.

Addressing teacher pay is something that must be made at the state level, Fletcher said.

“And we need to stay focused on that,” he said. “That’s where the real issue is. I’m celebrating the fact that we’re able to give our teachers any increase, and the issue is base funding for our teachers on the state level. And with the current legislative session I hope we’re able to see some progress in that.”

Further increasing teacher pay, so that the average teacher pay is among the top 10 percent nationwide, was among recommendations made to lawmakers last month from the state’s 115 school district superintendents.


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  • AX Feb 4, 2015

    Excuse me "OleNCNative" Wake wont be gaining ANY teachers or Instructional assistants from Chapel Hill as those teachers already make more than Wake County teachers, via the supplement they receive from the county. The leaders there have been proactive for YEARS. Its time for the other counties to play catch up.

  • kirtl Feb 4, 2015

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    My response is to those that feel more money is undeserved and to those that think they understand what teachers do. Often, those 2 groups have no understanding of what is required and/or do not value it. Whether or not a teacher has chosen this particular career or not is irrelevant. Keep placing increasing demands on an already heavy load, and compounding it by failing to pay for it as well as acting like it is a cushy job will not lead to success. World class results cannot be expected with lower middle class incentives and resources.

  • AppStgrad Feb 4, 2015

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    If being on the payroll for 20 years doesn't automatically make you better, then neither does being brand new. There are great teachers at both ends of the experience scale. Currently in NC there is a vast inequity in how they are compensated for whichever strengths they bring to the table.

  • Peter Panda Feb 4, 2015
    user avatar

    Good. It's about time teachers and school staff get some of the benefits of that "education lottery".

  • Doug Pawlak Feb 4, 2015
    user avatar

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    The problem is a bit more complex than that. Veteran teachers don't have the option to quit if they've invested the bulk of their life in the profession. It's also not practical for most to go back to school and get another very expensive degree. You also ignore the fact that there is a looming teacher shortage as the profession is seeing huge dropoffs in college students choosing it as a major. Who wants to get an expensive degree only to have the pay cap at 50 grand with other majors far more lucrative and with better benefits? Besides, the state broke it's word as to what they offered teachers as far as pay and benefits. Veteran teachers used to have a much better pay plan with decent benefits that have all been taken away over the last few years. Chasing off our best talent by offering them subpar wages and benefits and saying, "if you don't like it...leave" isn't going to improve our educational system.

  • Anonynony Feb 4, 2015

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    youtube(fights, riots etc) your local high schools, some will show up more than others based on demographics and programs. I went to these schools and now work in them, I promise you they're worse than ever. The higher level programs don't balance out every school.

  • wageslave59 Feb 4, 2015

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    I guess I don't get all the hand wringing over teacher pay. If the salary and benefits offered by the state and local boards are not attractive or adequate, then don't apply or leave and go elsewhere. If teaching isn't worth it for the pay offered, go do something else (if you are qualified or able).

    Also, just because someone has been on the public payroll for 20+ years does not make them a more effective teacher. I would say fresh ideas and approaches are often better than career educators who cling to ways of doing things that for decades and have not worked. Length of time warming a seat is not always a reason to be rewarded.

  • whistler411 Feb 4, 2015

    Teachers 8 years and below should have gotten none of this money. Received the full 7% or more from the state. 1-2 year teachers got 18%. Thanks for my $13-23 extra a month.

  • Olenc Native Feb 4, 2015
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    Riots? Are you kidding me? Please, I'm all ears.

  • Anonynony Feb 4, 2015

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    13+ years in and most of have learned not to. The admins cowering in offices, the 1 SRO/3,000 kids, gangs, riots, daily threats, bathroom brawls and hallway deals are all part of daily work life. It's a mindset I have to get into before going to work, and sometimes have a hard time coming out of before coming home. Like other civil servants, it's not done because of money or to please the greedy. It's done because you need it to be done. You trust us with your children and I thank you for it! I wouldn't have work or a purpose otherwise. Please don't let the State divide or deceive you about these issues.