WJTV News Channel 12 - RALEIGH: McCrory wants to give teachers a raise

McCrory wants to give teachers a raise

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Gov. Pat McCrory said he plans on giving teachers raises in the coming year as educators continue to leave the state because their pay ranks 46th in the nation.

Eric Guckian, the governor's education advisor, said a job as a teacher in North Carolina should be a destination, not a lay over.

"The thing we want to really focus on is to insure that the teaching profession is a destination and not a layover," Guckian said. "And that we have a long term profession in place for our teachers. We are falling behind other states."

McCrory won't say how raises will be funded or even how big the raises will be but support for them is broad based.

Supporters like Knowles Parker said she would be willing to pay more taxes in order for teachers to earn more.

"Raise the taxes to give our teachers the raise that they deserve," Parker said.

Rob Black with Aim Higher NC said the raise needs to be enough to raise teacher pay in the state to the national average.

"Our teachers are paid $10,000 below that average," Black said.

More than 21,000 people have signed a petition started by Aim Higher NC requesting teachers in North Carolina make at least $55,000 a year.

Pay increases for teachers are an idea supported by former Govs. Jim Hunt and Beverly Perdue.

"I was delighted this morning to see the comment that there would be teacher pay increases for this next calendar year. We are losing teachers and I  hope that statement covers community colleges and universities, too," Perdue said.

It would cost the state of North Carolina $70 million to give teachers just a one percent raise next year.

McCrory will need approval from the General Assembly to give raises and said he is in discussions with legislative leaders over the issue.

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