Wake school board approves raises for teachers, certified staff
Posted February 3, 2015
Updated February 4, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.