NC Senate Proposal Would Provide Major Boost to Teacher Pay

RALEIGH -- State Senate leaders say they want to see teachers get a big boost in pay.

In advance of releasing its full budget proposal, Senate Republicans released a plan Wednesday saying they would like to see average teacher pay top $54,000 in the next two years.

Last week, the State House released a plan would give teachers an average pay raise of 4 percent.

The governor had released a budget proposal saying he wants teacher pay to top $50.000.

The Senate’s proposal is an aggressive number and one that they offer little details about how they plan to pay for it.

Since Republicans took control of the legislature, they have been working to restructure teacher pay, which used to have many more steps associated with it. It would take teachers 30 years to reach peak salary under those guidelines.

The steps have now been reduced, and senators want the boost the pay within those steps.

It’s a move they said that will move North Carolina forward for attracting teachers.

“Since 2013-2014, the average teacher will have seen a raise of $9,234 annually,” said Sen. Phil Berger, President Pro-Tem. “This plan puts us to be projected number one in the Southeast in average teacher pay, in the rankings.  This plan puts us to be 24th in the nation in average teacher pay.”

The proposal would add about $538 million to teacher base pay over the next two years.

Without seeing the remaining proposals in the Senate budget, it raises the question if they plan to also find money for state employee pay raises, which the house offered two percent raises to in its budget.

Senate leaders said the details of their plan should be released next Tuesday.