Happy Friday! Thank you for stopping by and seeing what’s new! As mentioned in my post from last week, which you can access here [Salary Injustice], I will be discussing the recent debate in the Senate and House regarding an increase in annual salaries for public school teachers. As North Carolina consistently remains among the lowest in the nation for teachers’ pay, it is no surprise that the Senate and House are finally working towards a pay increase. But will it be enough? As discussed last week, the average salary received in NC is $47,783 which remains $10,000 below the national average. While this pay may seem sufficient, most teachers are also asked to purchase teaching supplies every year. Is this fair? Should teachers really have to provide all supplies while working on a much lower national salary? I certainly don’t agree. Let’s take a look at the proposed changes to come.
As one recent article stated, teacher pay is a major piece of the state budget now under debate – and has emerged as a potent political issue in recent years as the state has moved to increase pay for teachers in relation to other states (The News & Observer). Currently, both the Senate and House proposed a two part change which includes a pay increase at most levels and a gradual or “step” increase which allow teachers to move up on a year plan. While both agree that teachers across the state need a pay raise, there are disagreements regarding the amounts.
According to an article on the NC Policy Watch website, the Senate plans to spend considerably less than the House on teacher pay raises with the bulk of the new funding targeted towards early career teachers. The highest percentage salary increase would go to a teacher with four years of experience, while veteran teachers with more than 25 years’ experience would see no raises at all. Their salary would be capped at $50,000. Overall, the pay increase would reach between a 12.8 to 16 percent change- an amount that may not be sufficient in the long run. While any pay increase is better than nothing, I believe it is unjust to only provide pay increase for teachers with less than 25 years experience. The pay increase should be standard across the board.
As this topic is very broad and composed of many moving parts, I will continue discussing it next week. In the meantime, what are your thoughts with this current issue? Should teachers across all levels see a pay raise or should they limit it to “early career teachers”? Please leave your comments below and feel free to include suggestions! Thanks for reading!