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‘That’s a Slap in the Face’: NC Republicans Undermine Teacher Pay

Source: The News & Observer

As North Carolina Republicans push for a measly teacher pay raise in their latest proposed budget, a new report highlights how much North Carolina is lagging behind when it comes to teacher pay.

A report from the National Education Association found that North Carolina ranks 34th nationwide in average teacher pay and 46th in beginning teacher pay.

According to the report, the average salary for teachers was just over $68,000 nationwide, but for North Carolina, the average salary is $56,000.

Currently, Senate and House Republicans are negotiating a budget for the next two years that may include a $200 raise this year and a $50 raise next year for teachers who have more than 15 years of experience.

“So according to this I will receive a raise of $25 a month and remain at that pay for 9 years,” Dawn Zuccarini, a teacher at Harris Creek Elementary School in Raleigh, wrote in a tweet. “I’m wondering why the Senate isn’t worried about retaining experienced teachers?”

In addition, state Republicans’ budget fails to meet Leandro funding requirements, offers less for child care investments, and includes no bonuses for teachers and state workers.

“They don’t want experienced folks to stay,” Kim Mackey, a social studies teacher at Green Hope High School in Cary, told The News & Observer. “They don’t want to pay us, but many of us love teaching. It’s just the state expects us to make a personal sacrifice to do what we want to do.”

In contrast to state Republican’s budget proposals, Gov. Roy Cooper’s proposal calls for an average teacher pay raise of 18%, which would move North Carolina’s teacher pay to first in the Southeast. 

The governor’s budget also includes funding for school bus drivers, counselors, and support staff, along with providing funding to the Leandro Plan

“I’ve proposed a pay raise of 18% over the next two years because our teachers deserve better pay and more respect,” Governor Cooper stated in a video last week. “But the legislature wants to give them neither one. “In fact, the Senate has given veteran teachers a $250 raise spread over two years. $250! That’s a slap in the face, and it will make the teacher shortage worse.”

Read more at The News & Observer.


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