Earlier today Governor McCrory announced a two-year plan to boost starting pay for North Carolina teachers to $35,000 beginning in 2015. Under the proposal, new teachers would receive $2,200 this year and another $2,000 raise the following year. The two-year boost would amount to a pay increase of approximately 14 percent over two years. No new tax increases are necessary to fund the plan.
All in all, Governor McCrory’s plan is a good first step. Pay for starting teachers in North Carolina is a serious problem that has hindered our ability to attract and retain good teachers. This plan corrects those shortcomings and will allow us to compete with neighboring states who have begun to see an influx of teachers from the Tar Heel state.
However, teacher pay is a thorny issue. Starting salaries is only one part of a complicated problem. The current salary schedule needs to be revised or scrapped entirely. A salary schedule that treats teachers with different skill levels the same and has no linkage to job performance or individual labor markets is a bigger problem. Any additional plans from the Governor or the Legislature need to remedy these problems. Only then will we have a pay system that fairly compensates teachers and provides our students with high quality teachers.