Photo by Brian J. Matis

CHAPEL HILL – Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Superintendent, Tom Forcella, says the Governor and Legislature could have saved some time and headache had they released the $10 million for teacher bonuses that was announced Wednesday before the budget was finalized.

“I think it would have avoided a lot of the…or at least take a little bit of the attention off much of what happened in education this year,” Forcella says. “But, I’m hoping maybe they’ll find another $10 million.”

Governor Pat McCrory’s announcement came during a meeting with the State Board of Education.

The $10 million will pay for 3,000 teachers who are already working on their masters’. Gov. McCrory staffer could not answer where the money was “found”, but said the board had the authority to implement the change.

Forcella says he’s happy to finally hear some good news from Raleigh after months and years of negative and damaging cuts.

“My concern is that the money just goes to those who are already in masters’ programs,” Forcella says. “I don’t see any information about whether or not this is something that the Governor would like to see continue for new teachers that would want to get there masters degrees.”

Teachers did not see a pay raise is this budget yet again. Forcella says with the ongoing cuts to education in the state, he’s afraid it will continue to be less appealing for good teachers to come to or stay in the state.

“There’s a much larger piece in how the salaries for North Carolina teachers have just put them at the bottom of the pack, and there doesn’t really seem to be a plan to move them up,” Forcella says.