State to increase starting teacher pay

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 10, 2014

Gov. Pat McCrory and other state leaders announced this morning a plan to increase starting teacher salaries by more than $4,000 over the next two years.
The pay raises would increase starting teacher salaries from their current $30,800 to $35,000, the governors office said in a news release. Thats a 13 percent hike and would make those salaries among the highest in the Southeast, according to the news release.
McCrory made the announcement at Ragdsale High School in Jamestown. With him were Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis.
The news release called this the first step in their shared commitment to improve teacher and state employee salaries.
“There’s no greater investment we can make than in preparing our kids for the future, and there’s no question that high-quality teachers lead to better student achievement,” McCrory, Forest, Berger and Tillis said in a joint statement.
“Making North Carolina a regional leader and nationally competitive will help us attract the very best talent to our schools and brand our state as a teaching destination, not a layover.”
The plan will increase starting teacher pay by $2,200 this year and by an additional $2,000 the following year. Funding for the proposed raises will come from additional and available revenues and will not require a tax increase, according to the news release.
“I am pleased to see our state’s leaders come together, focus on finding solutions and commit to reversing the long-time trend of noncompetitive salaries in the teaching profession,” Liz Jones, an eighth grade science teacher and department chair at Roland Grise Middle School in New Hanover County, said in the news release. “This step will greatly improve our ability to recruit and retain the best and brightest to educate our students.”
The four state leaders also responded to feedback from educators by announcing plans to extend supplemental pay for teachers with master’s degrees to those who have completed coursework in a graduate program as of July 1, 2013.
State leaders intend to announce pay increases for more teachers and state employees as the revenue outlook becomes clearer and available, the news release said.