Republican Education Leaders Push Forth Controversial Teacher Pay Model

An overhaul of the state’s teacher compensation is alarming educators as their ability to receive a liveable salary is tied to student test scores, evaluations prepared by principals, and other measures according to a newly proposed model.

Advanced by state Department of Public Instruction and state schools Superintendent Catherine Truitt, the controversial proposal, likened to“merit pay” by many educators, sets entry-level salaries for teachers with bachelor’s degrees from $38,000 to $45,000 depending on eligibility.

Raises beyond that level could increase a teacher’s salary to up to $72,000 based on an evaluation of their effectiveness, student performance, peer reviews and other factors.

“Any approach to compensation that relies on standardized test data for base salary would be damaging to instructional practices,” Justin Parmenter, a seventh-grade teacher at Waddell Language Academy in Charlotte, stated in a News & Observer interview.

“Teachers who are already strapped for cash will be tempted to teach specifically for test mastery rather than the broader skill set that students actually need.”

The controversial overhaul comes after decades of the Republican-led General Assembly passing stingy raise increases for educators. The lackluster pay, censorship of classroom curriculum and continuous neglect to fund schools based on the Leandro plan has resulted in many educators leaving the state. 

The Leandro plan would funnel billions of dollars into new education funding for public schools and make investments towards supporting  teachers and staff in North Carolina.

“The focus needs to be on fully funding the Leandro Plan which gives public schools the resources that they so desperately need to educate our students,” stated Michelle Burton, president of the Durham Association of Educators, in The Chronicle. “The focus should not be on more merit pay schemes for teachers.”

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