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NC teachers working on advanced degrees to get bonuses

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Gov. Pat McCrory says he's found $10 million in the budget to provide teachers, currently earning a master's degree, a salary increase.

Teachers who have earned masters or doctoral degrees traditionally have been given a salary increase.

Lawmakers eliminated the increase in this years budget except for teachers who currently hold a master's degree and those who will earn their degree by the end of this year. McCrory wants to extend that deadline to the end of the 2014 spring semester, when about 3,000 teachers are expected to graduate with a masters.

"This is my fifth year teaching, and I'm still getting paid as a first year teacher," said eighth grade teacher Frankie Santoro. He's planning to graduate next spring with a master's degree from UNCG in reaching education.

"Although the pay increase is good, the impact on students is far more reaching than the extra $100.00 dollars per month," Santoro explained.

McCrory has come under fire from teachers and parents for signing the budget that eliminated the pay increase. He declined this week to say where the $10 million is coming from.

"You don't want a doctor that's never gone back and learned anything new. You want people to keep up with what's going on and new knowledge is important we think," said Ann Petitjean director of the Forsyth County Association of Educators. "What we are really hoping for is that [McCrory] goes beyond this and asks the General Assembly to repeal the law that will take away the masters pay."

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