Republicans pledge teacher raises ahead of Wednesday's rally in Raleigh

Arturo Kim
May 16, 2018

The rally recently follows teacher protests and even strikes and walkouts in several other states.

"We are extremely aware that disrupting family routines puts a burden on parents". That increase will bring the average teacher pay to more than $53,000, not accounting for local supplements, benefits or bonuses, he said. Were I still working with student teachers, I would be urging them not to seek jobs in your state. For the past 11 years, she's worked as an elementary school music teacher in Fayetteville, a city in the southeastern part of the state near Fort Bragg.

Yet North Carolina teacher pay-which averages out just above $50,000, including local supplements and benefits- remains almost $10,000 below the national average and ranks 39th in the nation. While teacher pay is rising in the state, stats published last week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that North Carolina is [one of the three worst states for teacher pay] (https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/a-look-at-teacher-pay-across-the-united-states-in-2017.htm), not far ahead of Oklahoma.

Since they began cutting taxes in 2013, lawmakers have slashed the corporate income-tax rate to one of the lowest in the country and now collect about a half-billion dollars less annually, according to the legislature's fiscal staff.

As Wednesday's march approaches, North Carolina Republicans have been emphasizing raises approved by state lawmakers in recent years, raises that lifted the state from near the bottom of the nation in teacher pay to 39th this year.

His spokesman acknowledged that per-student spending and teachers' salaries, when adjusted for inflation, aren't as high as they were 10 years ago because "the state was unprepared for the national recession".

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Meanwhile, nearly all of the additional $2 billion the state is spending this year compared to six years ago has gone into education, including public universities and community colleges.

"This plan must include restoration of compensation for advanced degrees and longevity", a state teachers' group representative said.

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger did not go into specifics, but he said that he believes all educators along the state salary scale will see pay increases of a varying nature. "The plan must also stop the flat-lining of experienced educators' pay".

- Create a statewide school construction board to fix crumbling schools and reduce large class sizes.

- Increase the number of school nurses, counselors, social workers and other support personnel and expand Medicaid to improve community health. "We simply won't have enough teachers in place to operate schools safely or to ensure a high-quality instructional day for students".

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