CLAYTON, N.C. (WTVD) --Gov. Pat McCrory hit the road Wednesday to hold a roundtable discussion on teacher pay in Clayton.
McCrory chose Riverwood Middle School for his visit, and it was a big deal for both teachers and students.
The roundtable meeting with educators, though, happened behind closed doors.
"Out of respect for the teachers, so they could be open with me with no pressure," stated McCrory (R). "And I tell them, everything they tell me, this is informal. Off the record."
Caroline Daily appreciated the decision to keep the conversation out of the spotlight. She's one of the teachers who spoke during the roundtable with teachers.
"[Teachers] wouldn't have felt like they could be candid with the governor, myself included, had we been looked at like I am right now!" Daily said to the audience of colleagues, students, and reporters.
McCrory said he heard about pay concerns from those he met today.
"They believe in putting extra duty into their job, but they also want to be rewarded for that extra work and extra leadership responsibility," McCrory explained.
The governor pushed his educational budget proposal to raise average teacher salaries in North Carolina to $50,000 a year.
"I feel like there's a concerted effort to really focus on teachers in our state, and we felt that today," said Daily.
Critics of the governor feel differently. The president of North Carolina's Association of Educators say McCrory's figure is misleading, and the majority of teachers set to make $50,000 are beyond 25 years experience or are already retired.
Teacher pay is also an issue raised by McCrory's gubernatorial opponent, Attorney General Roy Cooper.
"I'm really not gonna talk about the governor's race, because whoever is governor, we've gotta figure out the method of distribution, if and how we have money in the future," McCrory said.
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