New Details On McCrory's Ambitious Teacher Salary Overhaul

A quick look at what Gov. Pat McCrory announced Wednesday about public education funding he'll propose next week when he recommends adjustments to the second year of North Carolina state government's two-year budget. McCrory says he'll seek:

- Salary raises from 2.8 to 4.3 percent starting this coming year for teachers with eight to 12 years of service, with an average 2 percent raise for teachers with at least 13 years of service. McCrory already has proposed raising the base salaries of teachers with zero to seven years of service to $33,000 this coming fall. The governor also proposed Wednesday that state employees should get $1,000 raises.

- Provide 10 percent salary supplements for teachers who earn advanced degrees in the subjects they are teaching. The legislature voted last summer to phase out the supplement for teachers getting master's degrees.

- $3.6 million more for early childhood education.

- Double the amount of state funding for textbooks, to $46 million.

- The creation of a scholarship fund so newly discharged veterans who served some of their time at a North Carolina installation can pay in-state tuition rates to UNC-system schools.

McCrory also announced a teacher compensation overhaul that would:

- Implement fully by 2018 a new teacher pay schedule that consolidates the experience-based scale that's supposed to raise salaries on an annual basis from zero to 36-plus years of experience to a scale with six base salaries. The proposed schedule would increase salaries for young teachers more quickly - a 13-year teacher would receive a $47,000 base salary compared to $38,650 today, for example. The maximum base salary of $50,000 would begin in year 16, but any current teacher making more than $50,000 would remain on the current schedule and not see their base salary reduced.

- Allow teachers to receive bonuses or salary supplements for staffing hard-to-staff schools or subjects, getting national certification or earning an advanced degree in the subject matter in which they teach. A salary bump for national certification is already in place. Some local districts already provide staffing bonuses.

- Create a "Career Pathways" fund that would allow 16 school districts to experiment though mid-2017 with ways to reward highly-effective teachers, those who mentor younger teachers or lead teacher teams. McCrory's budget would set aside $9 million to pay for the first eight districts.

- Implement statewide the "Career Pathways" program on or before 2019. All districts would be able to create their own compensation plans or models from other schools. The plan envisions minimum increases of 10 percent for highly-effective teachers, 25 percent for highly-effective team leaders and even higher for more advanced roles.
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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says his budget will include raises for all public school teachers and state employees for the coming fiscal year.

McCrory has also unveiled a plan to overhaul teacher compensation schedules that he says will reward the best teachers and those working in hard-to-staff areas.

McCrory made the announcements Wednesday at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro. He says the current pay system is outdated and needs a stronger focus on performance and mentoring to retain the best teachers.

The proposed pay scale overhaul would not take effect until 2017 and would require approval by the legislature. Lawmakers also would have to agree to McCrory's short-term proposals to increase teacher pay by an additional 2 percent on average and give state employees $1,000 more.


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