GREENSBORO, N.C. — Veteran teachers in North Carolina say they are not getting a pay raise despite what politicians are claiming. The recent state budget gave all teachers a 2 percent raise but educators with more than 25 years experience are capped at $51,000 a year.
About 4,000 veteran teachers fall in the category of educators who have met the cap and will not get the 2 percent raise or any raise ever unless lawmakers change the rules.
Guilford County teacher Mark Klein’s says his salary will actually decrease this year. His salary was capped three years ago when state lawmakers eliminated teacher’s longevity pay — an annual bonus based on years of service.
“Last year they made it up to us a little bit by giving us a $750 bonus but this year they took the bonus away,” said Klein. “Holding my pay and taking my $750 away I’m actually going to make less on my W2 at the end of the year than I had last year.”
Veteran teachers like Klein are thankful that educators with less than 25 years experience got a raise but say politicians claiming every teacher got more compensation is simply not true.
“All teachers got pay raise of some sort this year or new money compensation,” said Gov. Pat McCrory Friday, who told reporters teachers are being told another story from the teacher’s union. “All jobs have a cap level but even with those experienced teachers they got very nice pay increase this year and I’m very proud of that.”
But McCrory’s gubernatorial opponent in November, Attorney General Roy Cooper, says McCrory’s claim is false.
“They are not telling the truth about teacher pay and teacher salary and investment in public education,” said Cooper, “The teachers know, you go ask them.”
The only raise Klein and other veteran teachers can get is any additional money that may come from local school boards.
“[Guilford] County has been giving us more money,” said Klein. “They’ve done a great job with making sure our steps go up on that.”