Proposed plan would amp teacher pay, force retirement after 20 y - WRBL

Proposed plan would amp teacher pay, force retirement after 20 years

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - A new plan that vows to overhaul the teaching workforce is stirring up controversy with lawmakers and education professionals in our state.

Dubbed the NC 60/30/10 Plan, it drastically staggers teacher salaries according to experience and performance.

Sixty percent of teachers would be “Apprentice” level, meaning they have no prior experience making $32,000/year. Thirty percent of teachers would be “Master” level, with a minimum of three years experience and making $52,000/year. Lastly, “Career” level teachers would make up 10 percent of the workforce, with at least seven years experience and a master's degree, while raking in $72,000/year.

The plan also says all teachers would have to reapply for their jobs in 2015 and must retire after 20 years in the profession.

"I think teachers are insulted,” says Emily Klinedinst, the president of the Pitt County Association of Educators. “I think they are flabbergasted that we're already in the predicament that we're in, that things are already not looking good and this plan is yet another slap in the face."

Former Wake County teacher and curriculum specialist Dr. Lodge McCammon proposed the plan, which is now circulating among other teachers and lawmakers.

It embraces turnover, inspires competition and claims to significantly reduce education spending, while still giving raises to top performers.

It’s also getting teachers fired up.

"I teachers are just disappointed that these type of plans are even making their way around and that they're even a possibility,” says Klinedinst, who’s been a teacher for 15 years. “It's like how much more can we take?"

State Superintendent June Atkinson believes it is worthwhile to consider all proposals for a new teacher pay scale but says forced retirement is not the answer.

"I believe that some of the steps identified in this plan run contrary to honoring the teaching profession," she said in a phone interview Friday afternoon.

So what about Gov. Pat McCrory?

He’s recently said teacher pay in our state in “unacceptable” and has vowed to change it this year.

"We can't just put a Bandaid on teacher pay raise,” he said. “We will focus on newcomers to the profession, and raise starting pay to attract people to the classroom. We need to think strategically and long-term, which includes taking a market-based approach that will reward our best teachers and those that are in demand."

In an exchange of emails, his team would not explicitly say whether McCrory would support the 60/30/10 Plan. But his Senior Education Advisor Eric Guckian went on the record with our Raleigh affiliate WRAL to criticize putting an expiration date on teachers.

"We want the teaching profession to be a destination and a career, not a layover," he told WRAL reporters.

Atkinson says she does not believe this proposed plan would decrease education spending and says if the pay scale does drastically change, she'd like to see all teachers be part of the decision.

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