CHARLOTTE, NC (AP/WBTV) - NC Gov. Pat McCrory says he's got another plan for public school teacher compensation that will address long-term issues and focus on rewarding them for good work.
During a press conference on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, McCrory said he plans to propose an average two-percent raise for all teachers in North Carolina.
He also wants to propose an expansion of the early childhood education program, to the tune of $3.6 million.
In addition to teacher raises, McCrory's education initiatives include providing in-state tuition for newly separated veterans, increase funding for textbooks and establish salary supplements for teachers who obtain advanced degrees in a subject they are teaching.
"For years, teachers have suffered through little to no pay raises as the state had to endure one of the toughest economic recessions in generations," said Governor McCrory.
"The Career Pathways for Teachers framework reverses that trend with modest raises in the short-term, and a meaningful, long-term plan that empowers teachers to determine their own financial future while at the same time giving local school districts the flexibility to address the most pressing needs of their students and community."
The governor and legislative leaders announced in February a plan to commit about $200 million over the next two years to raise pay for starting teachers from $30,800 a year to $35,000.
McCrory has said he wanted to give all teachers a raise if there was money to do it.
During the announcement, McCrory said teachers are getting paid like the "20th Century" and he wants that to stop. He wants a long term plan in place to boost pay.
Raises for veteran teachers is the first step of the framework, according to state officials.
"Teachers in steps 8-12 will receive increases ranging from 2.8 to 4.3 percent. Teachers in steps 13-36 will average a pay hike of 2 percent," officials told WBTV.
They say the "Career Pathways for Teachers" framework establishes a modern, more professional pay structure that allows individual teachers to significantly increase their compensation beyond their base pay.
He says there should be more decision making happening at the school level and not in the General Assembly.
McCrory says this is not about politics, its about doing the right thing.
He announced that eight school districts will pilot the program to improve teacher pay.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) Superintendent Heath Morrison was at the announcement on Wednesday and said he is proud of McCrory's plan.
State officials now estimate there will be a budget shortfall this fiscal year, although his administration says there's cash to fill the hole.
In addition to the Career Pathways for Teachers framework, the governor announced that state employees will receive a raise of $1,000 including benefits, which is an average of 2 percent.