RALEIGH: Task force proposes $10k raise for NC teachers - WRBL

Task force proposes $10k raise for NC teachers

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A $10,000 raise per teacher was one of the suggestions that came out of a meeting today to discuss how to retain teachers in North Carolina.

The Educator Effectiveness and Compensation Task Force met Tuesday to identify challenges that cause teachers to leave the state and work on solutions for retention. Panel members include leaders of teacher groups and parents of students with legislators.

"It's been extremely difficult because a lot of teachers who are moving toward retirement have had their pay frozen, their retirement frozen, and what they were expecting from the state of N.C. hasn't been there," explained Judy Kidd, with the North Carolina Classroom Teachers Association.

Right now, a beginner teacher makes a little more than $30,000 per year, and it will take at least 11 years to earn $40,000. Compared to neighboring states, North Carolina's starting pay is below that of which is in Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

 "The base pay in N.C. needs to be raised," Kidd said. "The [superintendent] of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools suggested the base pay be raised $10,000 per teacher, and I agree with that.

"Most teachers would agree with that."

North Carolina school teachers have received one raise since 2008. Gov. Pat McCrory and legislative leaders this month pledged to raise salaries of the least-experienced teachers to recruit and retain them.

Education budget-writer Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph County, pointed to an improving economy as a way to funnel more money to teachers and education.

"The business climate is much better; businesses are coming here," Tillman said. "With that in mind, the revenues are going to improve [and] as they improve I want to push these dollars into education."

Tillman said he hope the task force will be able to come up with a plan that the General Assembly will be able to put into law.

 "I hope they can come up with better ideas than I have, and better ideas than the legislature has," Tillman said. "These are great and talented people in their field. I want to get together their best thinking and see if we have some things that we can put into action."

The panel also heard about options to give bonuses to teachers in hard-to-staff schools and subjects, and reward teachers whose students meet academic goals.

The task force will meet again next month.

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