Education bills could help recruit and retain teachers in N.C.

Improving teacher longevity, master’s degree pay, and reciprocity for out-of-state teacher licenses are all topics of bills in the N.C. Senate.
Three bills in the NC Senate would help address recruiting and retention efforts for teachers...
Three bills in the NC Senate would help address recruiting and retention efforts for teachers across the state.
Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 11:41 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolina teacher recruitment and retention continues to be a challenge across the state but new efforts in the North Carolina General Assembly would address some of the problems.

Senators submitted three bills earlier this week that look to improve educator longevity, return master’s degree pay, and create reciprocity with out of state teacher licenses.

“All three of the proposals were on the Board of Education’s legislative agenda, which sets out priority issues for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools,” Stephanie Sneed, vice chair of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education and chair of the Intergovernmental Relations Committee said in a press release.

Related: 2022 N.C. teacher working-conditions survey results released, CMS educators weigh in

North Carolina ranks number 45th in the country for starting teacher pay with an average starting salary of $37,127 according to the National Education Association. The average teacher salary across the state is slightly more at $53,458 making the state 38th in the nation.

Sneed said these bills are good not only for Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools but for schools across the state as well.

“These bills are good for education and good for North Carolina,” she said. “We need to recognize and reward longevity and advanced degrees. And we desperately need new teachers! Recognizing and accepting licensure credentials from out-of- state candidates will help us get the teachers our children need.”

The NC Department of Public Instruction also acknowledges some of the challenges schools face.

“School districts find it difficult to hire qualified candidates to educate our children. The number of enrollments in universities pursuing careers in education has been declining,” according to a NCDPI statement.

Three Mecklenburg County Senators including Joyce Waddell, Rachel Hunt, and Mujtaba Mohammed are primary sponsors of two of the bills while Waddell is the primary sponsor of the Teacher License Reciprocity bill.