Senate, House Budget Agreement Provides Largest Teacher Pay Raise in North Carolina History
Raleigh, N.C. – House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) and Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) held a joint press conference Tuesday to announce details of the $21.25 billion budget agreement reached between Senate and House conferees this past weekend.
The budget will provide public school educators an average seven percent raise – averaging $3,500 per teacher. The $282 million investment will be largest teacher pay raise in state history – moving North Carolina from 46th to 32nd in national teacher pay rankings.
It will also preserve teacher assistant positions, protect classroom funding and continue to give superintendents broad flexibility to tailor classroom spending to their districts’ needs.
“Making positive and historic changes to the status quo isn’t easy – and we commend our Senate and House colleagues for their hard work, patience and perseverance in crafting a plan that provides the largest teacher pay raise in state history without raising taxes,” said Senate Leader Berger and Speaker Tillis. “Investing $282 million in pay raises will make North Carolina competitive nationally and encourage the best and brightest teachers to make a long-term commitment to their profession, our students and our state.”
In addition to the teacher pay raise and preservation of classroom funds, the budget agreement will:
- Reform and replace an archaic 37-step teacher pay system with a six-step schedule and a transparent compensation package;
- Preserve current Medicaid eligibility;
- Provide most state employees a $1,000 pay raise and five bonus vacation days;
- Increase pay for step-eligible Highway Patrol Troopers between five and six percent;
- Maintain funding at current levels for the state’s university system; and
- Fulfill the commitment to extend supplemental pay for teachers with Master’s degrees who have completed at least one course in a graduate program as of August 1, 2013.
The budget will also boost early-career teacher pay by 14 percent over the next two years to $35,000 – making North Carolina a leader in the Southeast and fulfilling a promise made by state leaders in February.
The full budget compromise bill will be posted to the North Carolina General Assembly website at www.ncleg.net on Wednesday.
Office of the Speaker
Rep. Thom Tillis
Speaker of the House
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 26, 2014
NC House Unanimously Acts to Keep Education Promises, Provide 5% Pay Raise to Teachers
Raleigh, NC – The North Carolina House of Representatives voted unanimously today for an average five percent pay raise for teachers and to protect classroom resources for the 2014-2015 school year.
The plan was first announced on Wednesday in a joint press conference alongside Governor Pat McCrory, superintendents, teachers and parent groups.
The bill, which will allow schools to plan budgets and will give educators job security for the next school year, includes many House education priorities from the budget passed earlier in June including:
-An average five percent teacher raise – without forcing teachers to opt out of tenure to get the raise
-Funding for K-3 Teacher Assistants statewide
-Full funding the Governor’s Career Pathways pilot program to provide differentiated pay to teachers demonstrating effectiveness or assuming additional responsibilities
-Providing $18.7 million to reinstate Master’s pay and reimbursement for advanced degrees in field of study
-Allotting $5.9 million to offer veterans and dependents in-state tuition rates via the Yellow Ribbon matching fund program at UNC and Community Colleges beginning Fall 2014
The bill also includes boosting starting teacher pay by 14 percent over the next two years to $35,000, bringing North Carolina’s starting teacher pay to among the top in the Southeast.
“We have been listening to educators and parents across the state and this plan focuses on fulfilling the promises we made to our state’s teachers, parents and students,” said House Speaker Thom Tillis (R–Mecklenburg). “We need to move quickly so that schools can plan their budgets and educators will know that their jobs are safe when school starts in a few short weeks.”
Teacher pay raises and education support are the bill’s priorities. Other key provisions include a $1000 raise for state employees, a salary increase of between five and six percent for step-eligible Highway Patrol Troopers and long-term coal ash management and clean-up funding of $1.8 million.
The bill will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.
The House unveiled a $21 billion budget proposal raising teacher and state employee salaries. This was accomplished through responsible budgeting measures and action on the part of the General Assembly over the past several years-specifically by improving North Carolina’s unemployment rate and fixing a $2.5 billion budget deficit. The House proposal includes:
• Teacher starting salaries will begin at $33,000 per year
• Average 5% salary increase for teachers
• $1000 salary increase to most state employees
• Restores step pay for eligible State Troopers
• Restores Master’s and higher degree supplements for educators
• Full funding for K-3 teaching assistant positions
• Funding for Closing the Skills Gap Initiative in Community Colleges
• Establishes a $117.8 million State Risk Reserve for Medicaid
• Additional funding for Pre-K and mental health crisis centers
• Provides $1.8 million and 25 positions for coal ash management
• Supports entrepreneurship through The Support Center and One North Carolina Small Business Program
• Streamlines all law enforcement agencies under the Department of Public Safety and saves $1 million
• Continues to support North Carolina government efficiency and innovation through funding the Information Technology Fund
• Improves the ability for NC to provide safe and reliable roads to its citizens