State budget plan moves forward; teachers not pleased

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Teachers are unhappy about pay raises in the new state budget plan.

State lawmakers are closer to passing a $23 billion budget plan.

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House lawmakers voted 77-40 Wednesday afternoon to tentatively approve the deal.

The compromise includes an average 3.3 percent raise for teachers, but not everyone is happy about it.

"Every couple years, the legislature will throw us a bone and give us a tiny little bump so that the public message is: Teachers got a raise. Let's think about something else," said Durham teacher Dov Rosenberg.

The 15-year veteran computer coding teacher will get less than a one percent pay boost under the proposed teacher pay plan.

After taxes, he said that equals less than $20 per month more than he currently receives.

"I'm happy to have a job, but this is not going to attract good teachers or keep teachers who are thinking about leaving," he said.

Some at Rogers-Herr Middle School have already left the classroom, and two teaching positions were recently cut because of budget concerns.

"I feel like I have one more year, yes, fingers crossed, yes, but after that I'll probably be in the same position worried about losing my job," said Rosenberg.

Under the proposed teacher pay plan, teachers with 17 to 24 years of experience would see the biggest boost.

Teachers with more than 25 years of experience would get an annual bonus of $385.

While starting teacher pay would remain at $35,000, many experienced teachers would see a raise, but Rosenberg said it is not enough.

"It's only about 5 percent more than what we were getting in 2008, and we have these higher health care costs that we didn't use to have," he said.

RELATED: Cooper blasts 'irresponsible' GOP state budget deal

Gov. Roy Cooper weighed in on the pay plan this week, which is much less than the increase he proposed earlier this year.

He stopped short of threatening a veto.

"This budget prioritizes tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations and shortchanges education and economic development," said Cooper.

The North Carolina Association of Educators told ABC11 more could have been done to invest in our children's future.

"The budget agreement between the House and the Senate does not make the same strong investments in public schools recommended by Governor Cooper," said NCAE President Mark Jewell. "Public school students are shortchanged in this budget with very little investment in the resources it takes to help them be successful. This budget doesn't do enough to attract new teachers into the profession or retain our most experienced teachers to keep them in the classroom."

The House will take one more vote on the budget Thursday before it heads to the governor's desk.

Related Topics:
politicsstate politicsgeneral assemblybudgetroy cooperteachersRaleigh
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