Governor Pat McCrory announces raise for teachers, other initiatives


During the presser, McCrory introduced the "Career Pathways for Teachers" framework, which comes as a follow up to an announcement he made in February that he would work to increase the base pay for North Carolina teachers to $35,000.

Raises for veteran teachers is the first step of the framework. Teachers in steps 8-12 will receive increases ranging from 2.8 to 4.3 percent. Teachers in steps 13-36 will average a pay hike of 2 percent.

Beyond these raises, "Career Pathways for Teachers" establishes a pay structure that allows teachers to significantly increase their compensation beyond their base pay.

There are three fundamental pillars to the pay structure includes a professional pay schedule, which enables teachers to earn more money earlier in their careers with significant compensation increase opportunities on three-year cycles to be fully implemented by 2018.

It also allows educators to earn raises for locally-determined leadership roles, teaching high-need subjects, teaching in high-need schools and pursuing other opportunities for continuous improvement, and will be referred to as Career Pathways. It will be implemented statewide also by 2018.

There is also a proposed career pathways fund -- a $9 million three-year fund that will assist school districts in the creation of local Career Pathways that encourage effective teachers to expand their impact and maximize student achievement.

Any pay increase would have to be approved by the Republican-led General Assembly.

"I appreciate the governor's leadership on these important education policy initiatives for the upcoming short session and look forward to learning more about his outlined proposals," said Speaker of the House Thom Tillis is a statement that was released following McCrory's announcement. "As I have said all along, raising state employee and teacher pay is a top priority for this legislative session and I am still confident we are well-positioned to move forward with that plan."

Wake County Schools Superintendent Jim Merrill was in the audience at the governor's announcement. The Wake School Board has been lobbying the legislature to boost teacher pay to stem the tide of Wake County teachers quitting for higher-paying jobs.

"Anything above zero is better than what it was. It's a good start," said Dr. Merrill. "The encouragement is that we're talking about a multi-year solution, and that's almost more important than plugging this year's hole."

In addition to the "Career Pathways for Teachers" framework, the governor announced he would increase funding for early childhood education by $3.6 million, would seek salary supplements for teachers who earn advanced degrees in the subjects they are teaching. The supplements will be 10 percent of the teacher's base pay.

McCrory also said he would double state funding for textbooks to $46 million, would work to establish a scholarship fund for newly separated veterans that will provide them essentially in-state tuition at University of North Carolina institutions, and state employees will receive a raise of $1,000 including benefits, which is an average of 2 percent.

The state's leading teacher's group, The NCAE , said they are encouraged to work with the governor on a new pay scale model, and new funding for early education. However, the group says the 2 percent raise is "inadequate."

North Carolina teacher pay is ranked 46th in the nation. The NCAE wants a 10 percent raise to help stop the growing flood of teachers fleeing the state for better paying jobs.

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