After weeks of wrangling, the state House and Senate each voted last week to approve a $21 billion dollar budget that includes an average seven percent pay raise for public school teachers.
Though leaders in the Republican-controlled General Assembly called the new budget “historic” for putting $282 million towards education, some educators themselves have criticized the new teacher pay plan.
That’s because longevity pay, the bonus once awarded to teachers with more than 10 of experience is no longer guaranteed. Instead, the new plan caps teacher salaries at $50,000 for those with more than 25 years in the classroom and rolls longevity pay into the base salaries.
This has some long-term teachers estimating their raises at closer to two to four percent, while starting teachers will receive a 7 percent boost and those with half a decade of experience could see as much as an 18 percent increase.
Governor Pat McCrory has indicated he will approve the new spending plan. Though the General Assembly has signed off on the budget agreement, lawmakers can’t agree on a plan to draw the session to a close. The House and Senate are split on whether to take up the issues of Medicaid reform and coal ash clean up, or hold off until after the November election.