Raises for teachers willing to help redefine how students learn

Published: Jan. 9, 2014 at 8:35 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2014 at 2:20 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It is a project that worked so well in four Project L.I.F.T schools, it will now be rolled out to 17 additional schools within the Charlotte Mecklenburg district.

Teachers can apply.  The top tier that are chosen will be paid more to make extra contributions, help plan and develop classroom lessons, and provide focused learning to groups of students.

Kristin Cubbage has been a part of the pilot program at Ashley Park Pre-K.

"To me this was a dream job because in order to make more money in the past I've had to consider opportunities within administration.  This allows me to stay in the classroom with the students," Cubbage said.

Instead of having just one class and one set of students to focus on, these teachers play the role of over-seers.  They co-teach, they observe, they help other teachers create their lesson plans.  The compensation can be from the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.

A $505,000 grant over three years from the Belk Foundation will help pay for the creation of what's being called an "Opportunity Culture".  The foundation chair says teachers deserve better pay, more respect and more support.

"I think we all know we have a serious retention issue in the teaching profession.  Teachers want this and these high impact teachers will make it happen," said Belk Foundation Board Chair Katie Morris.

Two additional groups, Education Resource Strategies (ERS) and Public Impact will help design the program and work with the teachers.

The 17 schools participating in this first official round of the program are:

Albemarle Road Elementary

Ballantyne Elementary

Barnette Elementary

Beverly Woods Elementary

Bradley Middle School

Coulwood Middle School

Hidden Valley Elementary

James Martin Middle School

Northwest School of the Arts

Quail Hollow Middle School

Shamrock Gardens Elementary

Smithfield Elementary

Torrence Creek Elementary

West Mecklenburg High

William A. Hough High

Winget Park Elementary

Winterfield Elementary

"We plan to roll this out to the rest of our CMS buildings.  The question is not if, it is when," said Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison.

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