The Debate for Salary Increase

Dear Readers,

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!

Article Links:

  1. NC Policy Watch

2. The News & Observer

Salary Injustice for North Carolina Teachers

Dear Readers,

Welcome back! As many know from reading my blog post last week, I am focusing on the hardships that public schools teachers have been facing throughout North Carolina for many years and concerned with the challenges they will continue to face in the future with job security and salary injustices.  Out of 50 states and the District of Columbia, North Carolina ranks second worst for job opportunity and compensation, according to an article from WECT.com. Currently, the national average teacher salary for 2014-2015 is $57,379.  In North Carolina, it is $47,783, according to estimates by the National Education Association (NEA).

This low ranking is not new to North Carolina and is not forecasted to change dramatically over the next few years, either.  The state has been constantly ranked as among the lowest nationally for teacher salary compensations in grades ranging from prekindergarten to twelfth grade.  These numbers are creating wave effects that expand across the board.  Teachers, both veterans and those with less than two years experience alike, are choosing to leave a career field that they thouroughly enjoy to seek better paying employment elsewhere. Former North Carolina teacher Sandra Leigh stated,

“I know teachers who really want to be successful and do what they are taught to do and have their heart in it for the kids and they get no reward, none. In fact, they’re punished, not just by salary, not just by buying things for the classroom, but by no respect for the job that we do” (WECT.com).

This increased turnover rate then creates additional stress for the teachers who decide to stay.  Teachers across the nation should not be forced to abandon a career they passionately love and should be recognized and rewarded for the hard work and time they invest in the children they teach. What are your thoughts on this issue?  Should North Carolina teachers receive better paying salaries and receive bonuses?  Please leave your comments below!

Next week, I will discuss the current debate within the Senate and House over proposed annual salary increases for teachers in NC. Stay tuned!

Article Links:

(WECT.com): NC Ranks Second Worst in the Country for Teacher Salary

(NEA): National Education Association