Teacher pay hike big issue for upcoming legislature - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Teacher pay hike big issue for upcoming legislature

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RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) -

State lawmakers in Raleigh on both sides of the aisle agree that pay increases are long overdue.

At the Government Center, Aim Higher NC which is made up of   teachers, and concerned parents held a rally on Thursday to state the case for higher pay.

Rob Black is a spokesperson with the organization.

Black said, "Our pay here is so low that other states run classified ads to approach our teacher.

Those who educate our children are taking matters into their own hands, teachers and other supporters of pay improvements from around the Tar Heel state have gathered close to 50 thousand signatures from supporters who say pay them more.

Governor McCrory supports the concept, but isn't sure where the dollars will come from.

"We need a long term compensation plan for teachers, "he said.  "I'm looking for reductions from other parts of government including the governor's office."

State Rep Kelly Alexander Jr. has one suggestion.

"I would suggest that you could find 50 million dollars right off the bat by getting rid of the voucher program," Alexander said. "You could find some additional money I think by cutting down on the money that goes to charter schools."

Consider this, North Carolina ranks near the bottom when it comes to teacher salaries, and for individuals depending on those pay checks…the time to act is now.

Union County parent Jill Carilli has gathered more than 20 thousand signatures supporting a teacher pay hike.

"My children's elementary school lost one third of their teachers at the start of this year alone, due to the low salary and the extreme demand that's being placed on teachers. I can't have that for the rest of my kids," she said.

The North Carolina General Assembly begins in May and teacher pay is expected to be one of the issues to define the session.

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