JAMESTOWN, NC – Governor Pat McCrory and other state leaders announced a plan Monday morning to increase starting teachers’ salaries nearly 14 percent in the next two years, but no immediate increase was mentioned for teaching professionals already in place.
This year, starting teacher pay will increase $2,200 to $33,000; next year an additional $2,000 will be added taking salaries to $35,000.
Supplemental pay for teachers who completed their coursework for their Master’s degrees has been extended up until July 1, 2013 as well.
However, there was no discussion of raising teachers’ salaries for those who are just getting their start.
The announcement to raise incoming teachers’ salaries $4,200 in the next two years was made at Gov. McCrory’s former high school, Ragsdale, with Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Senate Leader Phil Berger, and House Speaker Thom Tillis in attendance.http://chapelboro.com/news/pre-k-12-education/gov-mccrory-announces-raise-incoming-teachers/
CHAPEL HILL - After hitting a low point in September, N.C. Governor Pat McCrory’s approval rating began to improve. But, according to a new poll, after three months of improvement, his numbers are down this month.
“We have found that for three months in a row going back to September that McCrory’s approval numbers have been improving, but this month they took a step back from a 42 percent approval in last month to a 37 percent approval rating,” says Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling in Raleigh.
Jensen says that McCrory’s approval rating is now about the same as back in September, when only 35 percent of voters approved of the work he was doing.
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Jensen explains that North Carolinians aren’t happy with President Barack Obama either, whose approval numbers have hit a record low in the State with only 40 percent of voters who approve and 54 percent of voters who disapprove.http://chapelboro.com/news/state-government/mccrorys-approval-ratings-drop-three-month-improvement/
RALEIGH — Gov. Pat McCrory and his Republican allies at the legislature have hammered home a simple message about the tax reform package they passed into law earlier this year.
On Dec. 18, McCrory said, “North Carolinians will keep more of their hard-earned money thanks to historic tax reform.”
It’s true that the state’s income tax rate is going down for everyone in 2014. But that doesn’t mean all taxpayers will actually pay less in the coming year.
Republican lawmakers allowed the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit to expire and increased some sales taxes. As a result, many of the state’s poorest taxpayers will pay more in the coming year.
McCrory spokeswoman Kim Genardo says that when the governor spoke of new benefits for North Carolinians, he wasn’t referring to every taxpayer.http://chapelboro.com/news/state-government/ap-factcheck-many-pay-new-nc-tax-laws/
RALEIGH – A Chapel Hill man has been granted a pardon of innocence by Governor Pat McCrory after 16 and a half years behind bars.
Gov. McCrory called 63-year-old LaMonte Burton Armstrong Monday to tell him the news. The pardon of innocence makes Armstrong eligible for up to $750,000 to compensate for the wrongful conviction.
According to a news release sent out by the governor’s office, Armstong was found guilty of first-degree murder in 1995 for the murder of a North Carolina A&T professor in 1988 when Ernestine Compton was found dead in her Greensboro home.
Although no evidence ever linked Armstrong to the crime scene, an acquaintance, Charles Blackwell, turned him in. In 2010, Blackwell told investigators that he only did that to collect the reward from Crime Stoppers.
In 2011, the Duke Wrongful Conviction Clinic reviewed Armstrong’s case and requested a Motion for Appropriate Relief (MAR).
Less than a year later, State investigators re-ran all known prints from the case. One of these prints was an unidentified partial palm print found on a door frame above the victim’s body. Using a new database, the palm print was matched to another suspect in the case. He was released on June 29, 2012.
Armstrong works for The Freedom House in Chapel Hill where he serves as an outpatient substance abuse counselor. He’s attending Wake Technical Community College to become certified as a substance abuse counselor.
During the call with Gov. McCrory, Armstrong asked that he got a chance to shoot the basketball a bit with the governor, to which he accepted.http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/chapel-hill-man-receives-pardon-innocence-88-murder/
MEBANE — The world’s largest retail store chain and a financial company that got the biggest U.S. government bailout five years ago are opening new North Carolina operations that expect to employ nearly 700 workers.
Gov. Pat McCrory’s office said Tuesday Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to open a grocery distribution center in AlamanceCounty that is forecast to employ about 450. State and local governments offered the retail giant more than $9 million in tax breaks, land, roads and other incentives if it meets job and investment projections.
Insurance giant American International Group plans a Charlotte software design, development and testing center employing 230 people. AIG could get more than $5 million in government sweeteners.
An Israel-based textile maker says it’s adding 65 jobs at Spuntech Industries Inc. in Roxboro.http://chapelboro.com/news/business/wal-mart-aig-say-plan-nearly-700-nc-jobs/
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.http://chapelboro.com/news/pre-k-12-education/nc-teachers-see-pay-raise-2014/
RALEIGH — A panel asked by Gov. Pat McCrory to recommend ways to make North Carolina public schools safer is holding its first meeting.
The Governor’s Task Force on Safer Schools plans to spend Wednesday’s gathering in Raleigh hearing about some new initiatives approved by the General Assembly and organizing subcommittees on certain topics.
The 20-member panel was created following a school safety report McCrory’s administration released in September. The legislature this year set aside $9 million in matching funds for school districts to hire additional resource officers and install and maintain classroom panic alarms.
Panel members include educators, law enforcement officers and health and social service workers. The chairman is Chip Hughes, a former Highway Patrol sergeant and Governor’s Crime Commission member planning to run for Craven County sheriff next year.http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/nc-school-safety-panel-holding-first-meeting/
RALEIGH — Gov. Pat McCrory is scheduled to use a trip to Washington to bring attention to the importance of the military and veterans in North Carolina.
A statement from the governor’s office said McCrory will meet with military and congressional leaders Wednesday in Washington.
While there, McCrory will meet with officials at the Pentagon to discuss the military’s impact on North Carolina. He will also meet with North Carolina’s Congressional Delegation to discuss ways to further support the military and veterans.
North Carolina’s military community consists of six major installations with more than 150 National Guard and Army Reserve facilities.http://chapelboro.com/news/state-news/mccrory-head-washington-discuss-military/
CHAPEL HILL – North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory says the State’s public universities are not training their students to be able to get a job out of college.
“I believe deeply that places like Carolina—Carolina amongst the best in the nation does that extremely well,” UNC Chancellor Carol Folt said in a WCHL News Special with Jim Heavner.
***Listen to Part IV of WCHL’s News Special with the Chancellor***
Gov. McCrory said he doesn’t want to see the government funding degrees like gender studies that he believes will not get someone a job. (Source: N&O – click here)
However, Chancellor Folt’s message in her early days at UNC has been to not only give the students a wide range of knowledge, but a deep understanding of that knowledge.
“Each one of them has a major—sometimes two majors—that have detailed skills taking them all the way to the forefront of knowledge in that area,” Chancellor Folt said. “And these skills are deeply transferrable.”
And, she said she doesn’t just want to focus on today.
“The skills we want for the future are the skills for students that can prepare themselves, not for the jobs that are sitting there today, but for the jobs and creating the jobs of tomorrow,” Chancellor Folt said. “If you think about digital world, the jobs that our students are getting now didn’t even exist ten of 15 years ago.”
She said Carolina is not struggling with getting students into jobs immediately following college.
“Eighty-five percent of the students that graduate from Carolina within the first year have full-time jobs or are in graduate school,” Chancellor Folt said. “It’s up there at the levels of the highest of our elites; we’ll continue to press forward on that. And I feel proud of what they’re doing post-graduation, and I think they’re going to be the people that are helping to bring new economies into the state.”
You can hear the interview in its entirety on WCHL Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
To read the other articles in this WCHL News Special series with the Chancellor, navigate below.
CHAPEL HILL - Your Governor, Pat McCrory, joined Ron Stutts by phone on the WCHL Friday Morning News to talk about Medicaid, Moral Mondays, and the government shutdown.
***Listen to the Interview***http://chapelboro.com/news/state-government/gov-mccrory-fix-medicaid-first-agree-to-disagree-and-against-shutdown/