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

Posted on: 5:57 pm, February 9, 2014, by , updated on: 09:22pm, February 10, 2014

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

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The live blog has ended.

76 comments

  • Crystal says:

    oh great… can’t wait to hear it (insert eye roll)

  • Missy says:

    Someone needs to make sure to ask him WHERE he plans to get the money for the raises….

    • Taylor Hamm says:

      Well he’s getting some from the lottery money that Bev wasted and he has cut forever unemployment. He has returned in one year the cuts that Easley and Perdue installed. Bet the teachers union will Still promote democrats.

  • frank sinner says:

    The Three BILLION from the lottery alone was spent where !!

    • Stanthe\man says:

      Frank good luck in finding that info out. I tried for a year when Perdue was in office with no response. Libtards will not be satisfied until this once great country is completely destroyed. Now they are telling eople not to get jobs they will be ok. How sick.

      • Teach says:

        We are all aware that McCrory isn’t a “libtard” right? He’s trying to back track, just like Purdue did, but he isn’t a liberal.

      • TBP says:

        I’d say that intentionally blind and untruthful rhetoric are far more dangerous to this country than any liberal or conservative agenda. Misinformation, inaccurate assumptions, and blanket statements are a cancer to our country’s goal of intelligent problem solving. Grow up and realize that YOUR mindset is a SERIOUS problem.

  • Robin says:

    What time is this show scheduled to begin?

  • Rick Yokeley says:

    More political hot air from clowns in Raleigh who do can’t tell the difference between their A$$ and 3rd base! I sure hope the Community Colleges are considered in this “initiative”.

  • James Woody says:

    NC Governor Pat McCrory will make a big announcement tomorrow morning at Ragsdale High School, Guilford County Schools. The press conference is scheduled to begin at 10:30am. Lt. Governor Dan Forrest and Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger will also make statements. Rumor has it they will announce that ONLY teachers who have been teaching less than six years will receive a $5,000 bonus. They might also hint at a plan to replace the step salary system with a merit pay system. No doubt they will paint themselves as the saviors of education. ‪#‎notfoolinganybody‬

  • Bigjohn says:

    He is going to raise them to $30,001 and then promise them more if he is reelected. What a guy!!!!!!

  • Mike Bell says:

    Any raise will be more than what Purdue gave

    • Bingo! The sudden interest in teacher salaries is all political. When Easley and Purdue were busy doing nothing, the NEA still backed them. All the screamers will just move on to something else now. In the end they’ll still support McCrory’s opponent in the next election. They’re interested in power above all.

  • Dan Carter says:

    I work in the high schools everyday and coach football. What these teachers get paid is a disgrace. There are good teachers who deserve a whole lot more. They arent babysitters they are educators.

    • frank sinner says:

      I will agree low pay will discourage top shelf people,but there should be minimum qualifications involved and certifications should be part of any pay scale !!

      • Crystal says:

        There ARE requirements AND certifications. You can not walk in off the street and get a job teaching without the proper credentials and licenses. I have 2 degrees and am highly-qualified to teach in a couple of different areas, yet still eat Ramen noodles like I did when I was a college student. I am a professional. I work hard. I devote hours to my job. I buy supplies for my classroom. I deserve to be treated and respected like a professional.

      • sickofit says:

        Crystal, I know teachers who are certified, as they must be able to to hold the position of teacher, but they certainly are NOT qualified. I know teachers who can’t form a proper English sentence, and how they got a teaching degree is beyond my comprehension. Desperation to fill positions, I suppose. That being said, there are also plenty of teachers that are qualified to teach, and I agree they should be paid more, but only after weeding out those who got an easy degree and go to work each day to collect a paycheck and take advantage of those not-too-shabby state benefits they get and summers off. Don’t bother telling me teachers really work year-around – I personally know some teachers and they definitely do not work summers, or after hours during the school year for that matter. Most teachers only have to actually take advantage of their planning periods and teacher work days to avoid working after hours. There are some exceptions, of course, but for the most part working after hours is unnecessary. On the occasions when it is necessary, who cares? The same is true in many professions, and those professionals don’t get summers off, snow days, etc. Yes, I know you have to make up snow days; the point is you don’t have to risk your life or property going to work in snow and ice like the rest of us are expected to do without question. AND, while we’re on the subject of other professionals, there are also plenty of us who have to eat Ramen noodles and otherwise struggle even though we, too, work hard, devote hours to our jobs, and deserve to be treated and respected like professionals. WHY do we only hear about teachers being underpaid? WHY do teachers seem to actually believe they are the only professionals who deserve to make more money?? You are not saints. You chose your path and I chose mine. We are both underpaid and you don’t deserve more money any more than I do. We all – those of us who work hard and are devoted to our professions – need to be paid a fair salary. When you start taking up the cause for non-teaching professionals who also find themselves in the same unfairly-paid position as yourself, then I’ll care what you think. As long as you think you are somehow better than me simply because you chose a different profession than I did, you can cry me a river.

      • sickofit says:

        * “as they must to be able to hold the position…”. Speaking of not being able to form a proper English sentence. :)

  • JustMe says:

    He reminds me of John Edwards, just another criminal.

  • news2me says:

    Teachers children make more working part time at college than teachers make.. Children of teachers realize the low salary and the 24/7 work so they encourage their children to go into other fields..and POOF………..before you know it..your son is making $75,000 and your daughter is making $68,000…after the first year..Oh well…Teach if you want..I do not……I will not….
    This man is wanting a few votes for the next election..
    He is “:A Day Late and a Dollar Short”

    • JustMe says:

      I see you using the figure of $68,000 in your post…That is the median teacher salary in public high schools where I’m from…As well there’s no vehicle property tax, no food tax, and no tax on clothes and shoes…

  • Renee says:

    I just hope Teachers Assistants are included in the raise. They Generally make about 20,000. yearly and are College Educated too!
    They contrubute a lot to the classroom and to the Children.

    • Whatever says:

      Renee, you can likely forget that, along with all of us other school system employees. People think teachers have it bad. Pffttt.. try being a classified employee in the school system. Teachers can’t teach without the support of many other people.

  • jeff nelson says:

    I have been teaching for 23 years. I have gone above and beyond what has been asked of me. I am fully invested in and committed to my community. Why am I left out in favor of new teachers and non committed teach for america teachers that statistically do not stay in the state.

  • Ryan says:

    What a slap in the face! I have been teaching for ten years making $32k. Wonder why so many great teachers are leaving.

    • Discouraged! says:

      So now you will be making the same as a beginning teacher! Doesn’t that make you feel appreciated! I think not! Unreal. What about those of us who have stuck it through the tough times?

  • jeff nelson says:

    Dear Pat Mcrory, if you want this to be a destination and not a stop over why does your plan favor “stop overs”…It makes no sense…If you want to encourage long term commitment…just honor the commitments made by the state that were in the salary schedules every year until it was frozen. I made personal, community, and financial commitments on the word of the state…the least the state could do is honor their end. At least the people you will be rewarding can’t vote in this state because most of the TFA’s still have residency in their home states…which is where most of them that stay in education will be three years from now…with or without this raise…why? Because those state’s reward people who commit to their state and community.

  • Carrie says:

    So,now McCrory expects teachers to kiss his feet?

  • jeff nelson says:

    Pick an idea, any idea….reward 25% with a plan that is not fully funded and will leave the counties on the hook in an effort to bribe away tenure, the 60, 30, 20 plan which is to insane to even give full attention, or this which further devalues commitment, devotion, and investment from teachers in the state or the community. Two more and you will have a royal flush of stupid ideas to raise teacher salaries. Here is an idea…honor the commitments that were already made and then start looking for bizarre ways to raise salaries.

  • MickeyMDB says:

    What about teachers with 6+ years?? Why should I continue to work without a pay raise?? Why am I less valued than a first year who hasn’t taught a day in their life?

  • jeff nelson says:

    My advice for college students….do not trust the state of north carolina to value the work that you do or to honor any commitment they make past the next election! Been burned by both parties!

  • jeff nelson says:

    So a student sitting in college right now will be making 1000$ less than my colleague who has been an outstanding teacher for 9 years. I guess we can use their exam grades and professor evaluations as data to gauge their effectiveness. This plan does exactly opposite of what they claim. Wake up North Carolina. These are not the people to be making decisions….where are the grownups?

  • jeff nelson says:

    Just estimating…this plan will reward 25,000 new, inexperienced, and undeveloped teachers a substantial raise while leaving 60,000+ veteran, experienced, and committed teachers with little or nothing. Thanks for the leadership.

  • frank sinner says:

    Better wait till you see it in black and white,all politicos will tell you that you have to read the fine print !!

  • Discouraged says:

    So I guess you should teach for 6 years then quitor move because you know once you get into your 15 to 20th years, are fully experienced, and an asset to your school and community you certainly are not worth that much. Oops, did I forget that by this time you may be raising a family with children headed to college and being given a health care plan that sends your paycheck backwards every year! The career planning advice we have given our children is “Don’t Ever Teach”!

  • uuuuggggh says:

    I’m so discouraged……and I’m sure anyone who has worked 6+ years in education feels the same.

  • Gina says:

    What an absolute slap in the face! I have been teaching 12 years and am told I will still not get a raise??!!! McCrory, you are trying to save your position by taking care of only a few of the teachers in our state? Enjoy your one term. The rest of us will make sure you are NOT reelected!

    • Joust says:

      Were you this outraged when Purdue was governor? Of course not, she was a democrat. And like a good little lapdog, you will bark, bark, bark at McCrory even when he raises the starting salary for teachers. If he did give you a raise, you’d be complaining it wasn’t enough.

      Biggest bunch of crybabies I’ve ever seen. So much for it being “All about the children”, huh?

    • frank sinner says:

      Tell you what!! get your little teacher union friends and the I-Moral crowd that parties on Mondays and take your best shot O-Tay !!

  • JDM says:

    What about those that have managed to stick it out for 15-20 years? Will they get a raise as well?

  • Stephen says:

    Teachers…..so special that they think they deserve a raise, when NO ONE else is getting raises. Just treat them like the welfare recipients, give them more, so they will shut up!

  • DISGRUNTLED says:

    I have 15 years of experience and only make $38,000 per year. So, new teachers will start at $35,000 and see no need to compensate those with experience? Let the new teachers take on all of the responsibility that the experienced ones have, mentor themselves, and pull their weight…and do it without help or advice, learn to manage classrooms, etc. When the counties and principals need people to conduct staff development…get the new teachers to do it. Without the experience…schools and education will be in a mess. Good luck!

  • frank sinner says:

    Did any of these educators,check if this raise will move their income into a higher TAX !! Bracket !! You know you have to pay your TAX!!

  • Since McCrory also lowered the rate on all tax brackets, they need not worry much.

  • Pat just did more than the last three governors, under far worse economic conditions, and without threatening growth. We just vaulted up the list. But the haters will still hate.

    • Taylor Hamm says:

      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 says:

    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 says:

      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!

  • 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 says:

    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.

  • Jeremy says:

    Fox8 – These “live blog” additions are tacky, annoying, and useless. Please stop using them.

  • jade says:

    money does not fall out the sky so true

  • Realville says:

    …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 says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

        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 says:

        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 says:

      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.

  • Hahaha says:

    This thread is hilarious. They get a raise and everyone cries. Boo hooo

    • chucky1992 says:

      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 says:

    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 says:

      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.

  • Ryan says:

    That couple must have received a family inheritance.

    • sickofit says:

      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.

  • 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 says:

      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.

      • 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 says:

        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.

  • 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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