WJTV News Channel 12 - NC to give beginning teachers pay raise

NC to give beginning teachers pay raise

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RALEIGH, N.C. - Gov. Pat McCrory made a long-awaited education announcement Monday about raising pay for beginning teachers by 14 percent over the next two years.

He calls the new plan the first step in attracting and keeping the best teachers in our state. It aims to increase the base salary for beginning teachers who've been in the classroom for less than six years.

Their paychecks will jump from $30,800 to $35,000 by 2015. Gov. McCrory says lawmakers plan to commit $200 million to the plan, which will not require a tax increase.

North Carolina ranked 47th in 2012 among all states for average starting salaries, the National Education Association reports. The $35,000 minimum would move North Carolina into the middle of those rankings and near the top of the list for Southeastern states, passing Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. 

Gov. McCrory boasts at least 42,000 teachers will benefit from the raise. Pitt County teachers agree it's a step in the right direction but worry it leaves out one important group.

“Those teachers that have been in the field longer than the six years that put time and effort into their profession, and that also deserve a raise,” says Mary Robinson, who has been a math teacher for 13 years.

"They’ve been here 10-20 years and they're getting stuck in the shuffle,” adds Lauren Piner, who has taught World History for just three years so far.

Piner and Robinson say the plan means brand new teachers could potentially make more money than those who have more experience. They'd rather see an across-the-board pay increase for all teachers – something they haven't seen in six years.

"Teaching cannot be competitive,” says Piner. “It's all about collaboration, and when you start pitting teachers against one another, the doors are going to close and the students are going to suffer."

Gov. McCrory says he plans to roll out more pay proposals for teachers and other state employees in the coming months, but so far he has not offered specific details. 
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