(WGHP ) — There has been a lot of talk about teacher salaries in North Carolina.

The state legislature is trying to decide on increased salaries, and school boards are making decisions about raising pay. 

It’s coming at a time of staffing shortages when schools need to fill positions ahead of the next school year. The state sets the rate for teachers. For a first-year teacher, the base salary for the year is $37,000.

But school districts can set their own supplement rates to boost the pay. For first-year teachers in our area, Guilford County has the highest rate at $7,250. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools offers $6,400. Alamance-Burlington School System gives $3,885, and Asheboro City Schools has a supplement of $2,775. For some districts, those numbers could go up to start the new school year. 

“We have a job to do, and we will do it,” said Skip Alston, the chair of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners.

The board will soon make a tough decision because that pay increase comes at a cost to everyone. 

“I don’t think my board and I are really in favor of any type of tax increase,” Alston said.

He says they will be reaching out to municipalities in Guilford County to help with funds to make the $10 million increase for teacher’s supplement. Without the money, it could be more difficult to fill much-needed teacher vacancies.

“The state is putting that responsibility on the county, which I think is unfair, but our teachers need to be paid a competitive wage,” Alston said.

ABSS already made the decision to give all teachers a supplemental increase. For first-year teachers, the increase is $400. Instead of relying on taxpayers, they reduced or cut positions in HR, curriculum and central services to fund it. 

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools budget does not include raises for teachers but does for classified employees.

Asheboro City Schools approved a supplement increase for special education teachers. There is no raise for all teachers.

Randolph County Schools does not have any increases planned for the upcoming school year in their budget.

The current rate set by the state could increase for all teachers. Right now, it starts at $37,000 for teachers with no experience. Each year of experience goes up by $1,000.

Those discussions about an increase in base pay are happening in the legislature now. But it could be several weeks before they reach an agreement.