GREENSBORO, GUILFORD COUNTY - Gov. Pat McCrory announced a series of education initiatives, including increased teacher pay and funding, during his visit in Greensboro Wednesday.
According to the Office of the Governor, the initiatives will increase teacher pay, provide in-state tuition for newly separated veterans, increase funding for textbooks, and establish salary supplements for teachers who obtain advanced degrees in a subject they are teaching.
McCrory made the announcement Wednesday while at the campus of North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro.
"For years, teachers have suffered through little to no pay raises as the state had to endure one of the toughest economic recessions in generations," said Gov. McCrory in a statement. "The Career Pathways for Teachers framework reverses that trend with modest raises in the short-term, and a meaningful, long-term plan that empowers teachers to determine their own financial future, while at the same time giving local school districts the flexibility to address the most pressing needs of their students and community."
In February, Gov. McCrory announced he would work to increase the base pay for North Carolina teachers to $35,000, his office stated. The "Career Pathways for Teachers" framework the governor unveiled Wednesday is a followup of the February announcement.
Raises for veteran teachers is the first step of the initiative, according to the Office of the Governor. Teachers in steps 8 to 12 will receive increases ranging from 2.8 to 4.3 percent. Teachers in steps 13 to 36 will average a pay hike of 2 percent.
The Career Pathways for Teachers framework also establishes a modern, more professional pay structure that allows individual teachers to significantly increase their compensation beyond their base pay, said the Governor's Office.
According to a release from the Office of the Governor, there are three fundamental pillars to the Career Pathways for Teachers pay structure:
Professional Pay Schedule - "Enables teachers to earn more money earlier in their careers with significant compensation increase opportunities on three-year cycles to be fully implemented by 2018."
Career Pathways - "Allows educators to earn raises for locally-determined leadership roles, teaching high-need subjects, teaching in high-need schools and pursuing other opportunities for continuous improvement. Career Pathways will be implemented statewide by or before 2018. Local school districts can create a locally-designed plan or implement a plan designed by state education leaders through the Career Pathways Fund."
Career Pathways Fund - "This $9 million fund will assist school districts in the creation of local Career Pathways that encourage effective teachers to expand their impact and maximize student achievement. This three-year fund will allow local educators and district leaders to receive support as they create or expand a performance-based pay system catered to the needs of their schools and students. Pilot initiatives in eight school districts will form the foundation of a statewide model for performance-based compensation. Eight additional pilots will start the following year."
In addition, Governor McCrory announced he will do the following:
-Increase funding for early childhood education by $3.6 million.
-Seek salary supplements for teachers who earn advanced degrees in the subjects they are teaching. The supplements will be 10 percent of the teacher's base pay.
-Double state funding for textbooks to $46 million.
-Work to establish a scholarship fund for newly-separated veterans that will provide them essentially in-state tuition at University of North Carolina institutions.
-State employees will receive a raise of $1,000 including benefits, which is an average of 2 percent.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says he's got another plan for public school teacher compensation that will address long-term issues and focus on rewarding them for good work.
McCrory's office says he'll make a major education announcement Wednesday with education, government officials and business leaders on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro.
The governor and legislative leaders announced in February a plan to commit about $200 million over the next two years to raise pay for starting teachers from $30,800 a year to $35,000.
McCrory has said he wanted to give all teachers a raise if there was money to do it. State officials now estimate there will be a budget shortfall this fiscal year, although his administration says there's cash to fill the hole.