State Leaders Announce Plan to Raise Starting Teacher Pay

  • February 10, 2014 • Education

    Raleigh, N.C. - Governor Pat McCrory, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis announced on Monday a unified strategy to make North Carolina’s starting teacher salaries among the highest in the Southeast. This is the first step in their shared commitment to improve teacher and state employee salaries.

    “There’s no greater investment we can make than in preparing our kids for the future, and there’s no question that high-quality teachers lead to better student achievement,” said McCrory, Forest, Berger and Tillis in a joint statement. “That’s why we are committed to boosting starting teacher pay to $35,000 over the next two years.”

    “Making North Carolina a regional leader and nationally competitive will help us attract the very best talent to our schools and brand our state as a teaching destination, not a layover.”

    The new plan, unveiled to teachers and students at Ragsdale High School, will increase starting teacher pay by $2,200 this year and by an additional $2,000 the following year. Funding for the proposed raises will come from additional and available revenues and will not require a tax increase.

    Historically, North Carolina’s starting teacher pay has been noncompetitive. Under this new plan, teachers just beginning their careers will receive a more than 13 percent raise over the next two years, with starting salaries moving from the current base rate of $30,800 to $35,000.

    “I am pleased to see our state’s leaders come together, focus on finding solutions and commit to reversing the long-time trend of noncompetitive salaries in the teaching profession,” said Liz Jones, an eighth grade science teacher and department chair at Roland Grise Middle School in New Hanover County. “This step will greatly improve our ability to recruit and retain the best and brightest to educate our students.”

    The four state leaders also responded to feedback from educators by announcing plans to extend supplemental pay for teachers with master’s degrees to those who have completed coursework in a graduate program as of July 1, 2013.

    State leaders intend to announce pay increases for more teachers and state employees as the revenue outlook becomes clearer and available.