Gov. McCrory announces plan to increase NC teacher base pay by 14 percent

JAMESTOWN, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory returned to his own high school stomping grounds Monday morning to announce teacher pay raises coming over the next two years in North Carolina.

The announcement involved local and state officials at Ragsdale High School.

McCrory said, “It’s time we start showing respect for our teachers right here in North Carolina.”

He explained teachers have only received a 1.2 percent raise during the last five years. This year, he said that will change.

“We will increase by nearly 14 percent over the next 2 years the base pay for teachers to $35,000 per year,” the governor announced to applause.

In the first year, salaries will increase to $33,000 and then to $35,000 in year two.

Teachers with six and seven years of experience currently earn a base salary of less than $33,000. McCrory said over two years this will impact 42,000 teachers who have been teaching less than 10 years.

Educators who have worked in the state more than a decade, however, will not see a pay raise yet.

“You know, the money doesn’t just fall out of the sky,” said Gov. McCrory. “But our goal is to roll out more proposals in the coming months.”

He and other speakers repeatedly emphasized their intent to push for pay raises for all teachers, but no specific plan was announced Monday.

The goal is to attract and retain more teachers in the state, which is becoming less competitive with other states regarding teacher salaries.

“This announcement today by the governor is a great first step,” said High Point University Associate Professor Dr. Barbara Mallory, who works in the School of Education.

She said she was thrilled to hear legislators are valuing the work of educators across the state and reflecting appreciation in this pay raise for new teachers.

Dr. Mallory added, “The base salary needs to go up. But the ceiling – we need to look at veteran teachers and how we can compensate them for the work they bring, the expertise they bring.”

She said the second step would be developing a system to reward both long-time and high-performing teachers.

Today’s news was especially exciting for education majors.

Ellie Tehan is earning her master’s degree in Education from HPU. “There’s definitely a thought in my mind to go back Maryland, which is where I’m from, and where teacher salaries are much higher. But I’ve really come to love NC and this is definitely an extra incentive for me to stay,” she pointed out.

Duchante Davis is a third-year HPU education major who hopes to teach middle school social studies or science. “I’m not going into teaching for the pay. I’m doing it to be more of a mentor and guide for under privileged children,” said Davis.

But, they agreed, teachers still need to make a living. Davis said this news makes it more realistic for him to seek a job in North Carolina when he graduates.

Tehan said today’s news is great for new teachers but points out how valuable experience is in the classroom. “All teachers, no matter how long they’ve been teaching, deserve good compensation,” she concluded.

Scott Gustin February 10, 201410:14 am

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WATCH LIVE: http://myfox8.com/on-air/live-streaming/

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News conference starting on time. McCrory entering the room now.

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ICYMI: According to The Associated Press, McCrory and other Republican leaders will propose a higher minimum salary for North Carolina’s least experienced public school teachers. The plan would in part ensure all public school teachers make a base salary of at least $33,000 during the 2014-15 school year and at least $35,000 the following year, according to a document obtained by The Associated Press

Scott Gustin February 10, 201410:32 am

Guilford Co. Superintendent Maurice “Mo” Green speaking first.

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Green welcomes McCrory back to his alma mater.

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Green: Guilford County had an 86.2 percent graduation rate for the last school year.

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Green recapping the year for Guilford Co. Schools.

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Green: “Today, I’m excited to have our state leaders here to make the announcement and their united commitment to education.”

Scott Gustin February 10, 201410:34 am

McCrory just introduced.

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Reminder: You can watch the press conference live: http://myfox8.com/on-air/live-streaming/

Scott Gustin February 10, 201410:39 am

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McCrory credits teachers for teaching him about leadership.

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McCrory says it’s time to show respect for teachers.

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I’m pleased to announce a raise of the base pay for teachers of North Carolina.” – McCrory

Scott Gustin February 10, 201410:42 am

Over the next two years, NC will increase base pay for teachers by 14 percent to 35,000 per year.

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In year 1, pay will increase $2,200 and then $2,000 in year two.

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McCrory looks to roll out more proposals this year for more teachers.

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McCrory says they gave substantial raises to 3,000 state employees effective Jan. 1.

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https://twitter.com/CarterCoyleWGHP/status/432905577707372544

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Senator Phil Berger says the legislation will pass without any difficulty. 

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The live blog has ended.

76 comments

    • Taylor Hamm

      You are do right but they hat because they really think the Dems are saints and the GOP is the antiChrist. Pats doing a great job, f you Moral Monday punks!!!!!

  • Wayne

    how did they get 14% from 7.1% and 6%? Wow now we should know the importance of teachers….. someone can’t even add

    • Taylor Hamm

      Wayne math may be too much for you’ do you not know that if you increase by 7.1 then increase that by 6 MORE percent that you do not add the two together, see the 7.1 raises the basis for the next 6 percent. Lord you gotta be a demonut!

  • Rebekah R. Thomas

    I’m all for helping promote the importance of education in our state, for attracting and encouraging young people to come into our profession, for raising the pay to help keep high quality teachers in the classroom, but in response to our Lt. Governor’s comments- It’s a new day for teachers in North Carolina. It’s time for teachers to be compensated,” what about all the teachers who have served students and families for the last few years? Don’t they deserve to be compensated for all the hard work, long hours, devotion and professionalism they’ve shown in the classroom? Am I understanding that new teachers who have yet to be in the classroom are more valued than those who have been giving their all these last few years? Thank you for, once again, showing me that what I do each day is not important to you or valued as worthwhile.

  • l337g33k

    This is pretty sad, and I am thoroughly disappointed. This judgement may attract new teachers; however, you won’t retain them indefinitely. They’ll get their experience and go on to other jobs since there will be no compensation for experience. Look at the 60,000 tenure teachers who have devoted their lives so far and have got… nothing more than a slap in the face.

    GJ, we’ll become a training ground for teachers so they can go else where to a state which may actually care about career teachers. You have to reward your experienced veterans… anyone with any fundamental grasp on running a workplace knows that.

  • Realville

    …and how many months per year do teachers work? While teachers are on “summer break” or “Christmas break” they rest of us are still working…so divide your salary by the number of months you actually work and it’s not too bad…

    • sickofit

      Absolutely! it’s a hell of a lot more than I make when you consider the number of days they do NOT work, and I work just as hard as any teacher I know, All. Year. Long.

      • Teacher

        You do realize that teachers don’t get paid during the summers, right? Most of us actually have to pick up a summer job, as if we were in high school, just to make ends meet. I’m not downplaying how hard you work in relation to how much you are paid in your job, but please, know that teachers work very hard year-round, and we don’t get paid when we aren’t physically at school.

      • sickofit

        I happen to know for a fact that teachers in NC have the option to spread their pay out over 12 months, AND your salary is more than mine and I have to ACTUALLY work all twelve months to get paid my twelve-month salary which is, again, less than yours even if you do spread yours out over twelve months. So, if you choose to get paid for only the ten months that you work, thereby getting larger paychecks, instead of spreading it out over 12 months by budgeting like the rest of us have to do, then it’s your fault you have to take a job during the summer. Perhaps you should try budgeting and living within your means like I do if you want your summer break. Of course, I have to live within my means without getting a summer break. Or a Spring break. Or a Fall break. Or a Christmas break. Or snow days.

      • Teacher

        I feel your frustration, as I grew up in a household much like I imagine you live in yourself. I will take it you are frustrated with teachers in general and not me, as you don’t know my situation, but let me say this: I do spread my paychecks over 12 months, I keep a very tight budget, with NO money left anywhere for entertainment, I leave my home before the sun rises and get home after the sun sets, and yes, I do work during the summers, and on spring break, and during snow days (end of run-on sentence). I believe that everyone should be paid more money, but it just can’t happen. If the state truly values the education of the kids, they should at least listen to educators, and they’re not. That is the argument that we’re all losing sight of.

    • sickofit

      Yes, I’m afraid I am missing your argument, or at least I hope I am. It sounds as if you’re saying everyone should get paid more but that “just can’t happen”, BUT teachers should definitely get paid more because they really *deserve* it; the others of it just *want* it and since we are lowly non-teachers that “just can’t happen”. Surely that’s not what you mean. Certainly you must know that there are many other jobs that have to be done in order for you to even be able to teach. I know you don’t think you can do it alone.

    • chucky1992

      I am not a teacher but know several people who are or were. If you were one of the more experienced teachers who devoted a good part of your life to teaching you’d probably be upset too. I doubt that you would find any part of this to be “hilarious”. Let’s face it… teachers don’t put up with parents who are sorry or jerks, children who are spoiled or bullies and the spineless administration who traps them in the middle with little support so they can make the salary they make. Most of them spend their own money to buy supplies for other people’s children and get no benefit or recognition for it. they spend hours at home grading papers and completeing excessive reports and action plans for EACH CHILD. They do it because they know that children need to be educated so they don’t run around making ignorant comments like some that are being made on here.

  • Ryan

    It’s very obvious who isn’t a teacher on this blog. I would imagine all of the negative comments are left by people who have no idea what teachers actually have to do. Especially the comment about not having to work during the summer. That is a bunch of BS. I dont know a single teacher who doesn’t have a summer job. We HAVE TO HAVE A SUMMER JOB! We couldn’t pay our bills if we didn’t. It is almost impossible to support a family on our salaries. I would also be willing to bet that all of the people leaving these comments wouldn’t last a day in a classroom. People think that teaching is easy….It’s not. These people have no clue!

    • sickofit

      I know a married couple who are both teachers. They are relatively young — around 40 — they spend their summers traveling abroad. They have done that for years. Cry me a river. I’m an underpaid professional, as well — Apparently way more underpaid than are teachers; I can’t even afford to spend a weekend at the NC coast, much less travel overseas, but then again I am single and, therefore, don’t live in a two-income household. If you are married, thereby giving you the opportunity, at least, to have a two-income household, then you just must not manage your money well.

    • sickofit

      Well, Ryan, I’ve tried to respond to you twice now and somehow my comments got posted neither time. I’m not going to try to re-type all of it again. The long and short of it is… no, they did not receive a family inheritance. Each of them makes a pretty decent salary (only the uninformed believe this myth that all teachers make only $30-40k) and they live fairly modestly (although comfortably!) and they save their money so they can travel during their summers off. I can only dream of ever making enough money, in the profession I’ve chosen, to ever be able to save enough money to travel. But we all made our choices.

  • Stephania Morgan

    As a retired NC public school teacher with 34 years of service and mother/mother-in-law of three public school teachers currently, I can tell you for a fact that NO ONE understands this issue unless you live it. You just cannot tell someone what this job is like, nor will you convince them of how hard you work and what long hours you put in. They will never get it unless they do it themselves.

    • sickofit

      Ah, surprise, another teacher who believes teachers are the only ones who work hard, put in long hours, and are underpaid. And, not surprisingly, you leave out the part about where teachers get life-long State health insurance even after retirement, AND a pension plan that the average NC worker would kill for. Boohoo. You, ma’am, are the one who will never get it.

      • Stephania Morgan

        You just proved my point. You cannot tell someone what teachers do. They must experience it to understand. You are welcome to do so if you really wish to see for yourself whether the job is as cushy as you seem to believe that it is. You can go to college, earn the degree in education, apply for a teaching position, and enjoy a 30-year career trying to help students while pleasing parents, bureaucrats, and legislators.

        But you are a little misinformed about the benefits teachers earn. They no longer receive free life-long health insurance. And as for the pension plan, teachers have always had monthly contributions deducted from every paycheck into the State Retirement System. They are not given an option but are automatically enrolled in that system when they sign a teaching contract. The Legislature has not made all the contributions which they were supposed to contribute to the plan, and Gov. Perdue even BORROWED from the plan for other uses during her tenure in office! That pension plan has been successful because teachers and other state employees have made it so. It is not welfare, either. We earned that benefit through our service to the state of N.C. It was part of our employment contract. I always considered it deferred compensation since I was not earning a salary equal to that of my college graduate peers in other fields. I figured I would receive that compensation later.

        If I had been allowed to keep my contribution to the system from each paycheck and invest it for myself, I should have much more retirement income than I will ever realize from my state pension. So if you really feel that this is your dream job, what is stopping you? You have the same opportunity to choose a career in education that I had. Go for it!

      • sickofit

        Oh, I’m not at all misinformed about the benefits teachers receive. I do realize that newer teachers don’t get the life-long health insurance, but I know YOU do, and any teachers who’ve been working for more than a few years. I don’t remember off the top of my head exactly when that ended for new employees, but it wasn’t that long ago, and it wasn’t taken away from the teachers who were already working at that time – they will all still get that benefit. And I know exactly how the pension plan works. You, friend, shouldn’t be so quick to assume that I haven’t ‘gone to college, earned a degree in education, applied for a teaching position’, and held a teaching position. If I still had to work for a living I would go right back to that profession. Some of us appreciate the perks of teaching, while others choose to see only the negative. I’m sorry you thought all of your peers hold your same beliefs about the “horrors” of teaching.

  • Stephania Morgan

    You are exactly right–some of us appreciate the perks of teaching, as I just pointed out in my previous post. I considered the deferred compensation which I would receive from the state’s contribution to my pension as a perk, as well as any contribution the state has paid to my health insurance plan. Currently, my health insurance is Medicare, for which I have a premium deducted from my Social Security check each month. I enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, for which I also pay an additional premium. But if I were still receiving life-long health insurance from the state, again I will state that I earned it.

    I don’t recall mentioning any “horrors” of teaching anywhere in my posts. I was a very successful teacher, well respected by many other teachers, administrators, students, and parents. I held high expectations for my students and myself. Students who left my classroom were well-prepared for the next stage of their education.

    In your previous posts, you mention that you are an underpaid professional and cannot even afford a weekend at the NC coast. I can sympathize with you, having been in that position myself in the past when I was rearing a family.

    You also mention “we lowly non-teachers” and working “just as hard as any teacher I know” all year long. Now your post says, “If I still had to work for a living, I would go right back to that profession.” So your comments have me confused; either you are an underpaid professional working hard all year long, or you no longer have to work for a living. Or maybe neither description is accurate. I am not sure. But you have lost all credibility, due to your self-contradictory comments, not to mention that you post them under a screen name instead of your legal name.

    In closing, I wish to make clear that I do not believe that only teachers work hard and deserve more pay. I am sure that there are many people serving in various occupations or careers who work very hard and deserve better pay. But the issue being discussed in the original article here is teacher pay. And I simply do not feel that teachers should have to beg to be paid adequately for what they do. They perform the services they have agreed to provide in their contracts, but the salary schedule which was in effect when they were hired has been frozen now for years. A teacher with 10 years experience is now earning around $1500 less than a teacher with that level of experience earned 7 years ago. Yet, their insurance premiums and the cost of living in general has risen. So these teachers have taken a large pay cut. They deserve more respect and to be able to provide for their families. They should not have to sacrifice the livelihood of their own children in order to teach the children of others in this state.

    Thank you for allowing me to respond.

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