Editorial: NC Has the Resources to Give Teachers a Raise
A change to the formula for teacher's pay brought it down another half percent, taking teachers by surprise. June Atkinson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, believes that to keep teachers from moving to another state an across the board pay increase of 10% is needed.
The school system had changed its formula for teachers' supplementary pay and eliminated longevity pay. The teachers said they didn't see the move coming. For most of them, it amounts to a half-percent reduction in the supplemental pay they get from the county, on top of their base pay from the state.
We're not talking about a lot of money here, but in a state that's already one of the lowest-paying, it's still painful.
Cumberland County's teachers aren't the only ones who are angry and hurting. In wealthier districts and in the dirt-poor ones, the mood is bleak. Teachers have seen cut after cut - lower pay, fewer teacher assistants, less money for supplies. The union-phobic General Assembly is even trying to prevent deduction of their association dues from their paychecks.
Lawmakers say they support improving education in North Carolina, but teachers nevertheless feel targeted and vilified. It's hard to argue that they're wrong.
There's really only one way to turn that problem around - uniess lawmakers aren't alarmed by the already-steady flow of experienced teachers to other, better-paying states. And that's to give North Carolina teachers a good raise.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson has a number in mind. She told the House Select Committee on Education Strategy and Practices Wednesday that teachers should get an across-the-board 10 percent raise this year.