McCrory proposes an average of two percent raise for teachers, new Career Pathway plan

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory proposed an average of two-percent raise for all teachers in addition to other education announcements during a press conference at North Carolina A&T on Wednesday.

“It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, but we need to appreciate teachers for generations to come,” McCrory said.

The proposed raises are built into next year’s budget proposal.

“My budget… we’re recommending teachers an average raise of two-percent,” McCrory said. “Teachers can expect to see an average raise of two-percent in addition to the base pay for those teachers receiving a 7 percent raise.”

McCrory said within the next two years, there will be no teacher in North Carolina that will make less than $35,000 a year.

McCrory also said all state employees will receive a $1,000 raise under his budget plan.

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

The two-percent raise and $1,000 raise for state employees will cost $265 million in next year’s budget.

In February, McCrory outlined a plan that would raise the state’s base pay for a starting teacher from $30,800 to $35,000 by the 2015-16 school year. McCrory and lawmakers said they want to spend $200 million on the plan that will raise salaries for teachers in the first 10 years in the classroom.

The national average for teacher annual salary is $55,000.

McCrory also announced CPT, the Career Pathway for Teachers model. McCrory said the current pay plan is “old and outdated” and doesn’t work in the 20th century.

McCrory said they developed the plan after speaking with teachers and administrators across North Carolina.

“This career pathway will focus on several areas,” McCrory said. “It will reward experience. It will also reward performance. It will also focus on hard-to-staff schools.”

McCrory said he hopes to combine proposed short-term raises with a long-term plan Career Pathway plan to improve teacher pay across the state.

McCrory said the plan will be “tweaked” next week and will not be a slam-dunk, but insisted this is a step in the right direction.

McCrory said the pay scale should adjust to those schools and should reward teachers that are mentors at their schools.

McCrory said if teachers are not meeting students’ needs, they will not get automatic pay raises.

“This is all about the students,” McCrory said.

The Career Pathway plan will cost $9 million beginning next year, which will include pilot programs. Full implementation of the plan would be implemented in 2017-2018.

McCrory also made other education announcements on Wednesday.

“We will provide an additional $3.6 million to expand early childhood education in North Carolina,” McCrory said.

McCrory said the transition to digital learning will not “happen overnight,” but the state is focused on the goal.

“Our budget will double state funding for textbooks, raising the total amount to $46 million,” McCrory said.

McCrory’s announcement will be followed Wednesday afternoon by another announcement from Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest and Sen. Jerry Tillman – who said they will unveil a new fund to supplement teacher pay.

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