Talking Teachers

As many of you know, our Governor and Legislative leaders announced plans to get NC teacher starting pay at or above the starting pay in our neighboring states.

Except for the small raise Republicans pushed through in the 2011-2012 school year, teacher pay has been frozen for about 7 years.

Yes, that means that despite the pontificating of former Gov. Jim Hunt, his Democrats-who have ruled our state for all but three of the past 100 + years, did not get teacher pay to the national average-or put an honest focus on it. The most neglected group of teachers are those who began teaching during the past 7 years.

The plan to bring their pay up is a good one.

This week’s announcement to bring entry-level pay to the top tier in the Southeast is our initial step in this process and we are choosing to address early-teacher pay – one of the most pressing issues facing North Carolina’s teacher pay system. And while the teacher’s union has been busy spreading misleading information about the raises announced this week – it’s important that you hear from me that there will be no veteran 9th year teacher earning less than an entry-level teacher. By the end of the two-year plan – all of North Carolina’s teachers will make at least the $35,000 base pay, closer to the national average than we have seen in years.

It is also important to note taxpayers in Harnett County add an additional $2,000 supplement to most teacher salaries. This is above the portion of salaries funded by the state

While raising the entry-level pay is the starting point, it’s just as important for us to address all teacher salaries as our budget process becomes clear. We are increasingly confident that because of our improving economy, we can give raises to all teachers and state employees this year and fund the proposed raises from additional and available revenues that will not require a tax increase.

This is the first step of the shared commitment among the state’s Republican leadership.

I'm happy to get answers to questions.

As always, I appreciate those people educating our children.

I know there are many other factors needed to help boost morale and help educate our kids. Since pay has generated the most recent inquiries, I thought I'd start with this.

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