CHAPEL HILL – North Carolina teachers have gone six years without a real pay raise, but that might change next year.
Governor Pat McCrory said Tuesday that he wants to roll out a North Carolina public school teacher pay proposal early in 2014 but didn’t get into the specifics of the plan.
Mary Gunderson, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools’ Coordinator of Teacher Recruitment & Support, said that without an attractive beginning salary to offer, it has been hard for the district to attract new and qualified teachers.
“Any increase for persons across the pay scale, but particularly those at the beginning of the pay scale, is very much needed and very much welcomed,” Gunderson said.
North Carolina’s teachers are among the lowest paid in the country, ranking 46th. The beginning salary for a teacher with less than six years of experience is $30,800 for the 2013-2014 school year, according to the NC Department of Public Instruction.
District leaders have said in the past that CHCCS relies on recruiting teachers from outside North Carolina due to a shortage of teachers from within the State. The district is forced to compete with other states that offer higher salaries, and often it comes up short.
“We absolutely need a competitive salary so that we can attract new people to the profession and to be able to retain them as the years go by,” Gunderson said.
McCrory told reporters after Tuesday’s Council of State meeting that the first step is making sure there’s room in the budget for teachers’ pay increases.
Stagnant salaries are just one of the many issues that educators have said threaten the education system in North Carolina. State lawmakers eliminated salary bonuses for teachers with advanced degrees and also nixed teacher tenure.