RALEIGH, NC (June 12, 2014) – The Public School Forum of North Carolina today said of the three budget proposals currently before the NC General Assembly, the plan contained in the 2014-2015 NC House budget offers the most promising path forward to improve teacher pay. The full policy brief can be accessed here.
The Public School Forum found the NC House’s proposed budget to be the most promising teacher pay alternative after in-depth comparison with plans from the NC Senate and Governor McCrory in four key areas: 1) Improving average teacher pay relative to regional and national averages, 2) Targeting pay incentives to priority areas shown by research to have the greatest effect, 3) Providing local flexibility to tailor teaching roles and responsibilities, and to adjust pay accordingly, and 4) Protecting overall funding for pre-K, K-12, and higher education.
“It is significant and heartening that Governor McCrory and both houses of the General Assembly all recognize the importance of paying teachers more and making their salaries competitive with other states in the Southeast and nationally,” said Keith Poston, President and Executive Director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. “The House proposal takes some of the best aspects of Governor McCrory’s plan like the Career Pathways pilot program but also maintains most other K-12 and higher education funding and moves NC teacher salaries more quickly toward the regional and national averages.”
The House budget would move North Carolina to the middle of the pack on average teacher salaries in the Southeast (6th out of 12 states) and out of the bottom tier nationally (from 47th to 36th out of 50 states). Also, like budgets proposed by the Governor and NC Senate, the House would improve our regional and national standing on beginning teacher pay. And it would not require teachers to give up their tenure rights to receive raises, as the Senate’s budget would.
While there is still significant room for improvement—we would still lag Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee, which all compete with us for top regional talent, and more than two-thirds of states nationally—these raises would be a welcome move in the right direction for North Carolina’s teachers.