Will NC teachers get a considerable raise this year?

Published: May. 5, 2016 at 11:07 PM EDT|Updated: May. 6, 2016 at 12:33 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Could a considerable teacher raise be more of a reality this year?  North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is pushing for a 5% raise for teachers and wants to take average teacher salary to $50,000 a year.

Lawmakers are exploring McCrory's idea.

"It's going to be very, very difficult to achieve," Representative Craig Horn said. "It's not to say we won't do something. I think we will do something - something substantive, but I am very cautious about leading anyone to believe that we are going to meet the governor's target this year."

Horn is with the Republican leadership. WBTV asked if - since the governor is up for re-election - his party helps give teachers that substantive raise. Horn said that has not been talked about in Raleigh, but sees how raises are connected to campaigns.

"I do believe that pay raises are tied to election cycles," Horn said. "But I don't believe it's anymore this year than it has been in previous years."

Judy Kidd is the president of the Classroom Teachers Association. She believes the raises could be a political move.

"In the good graces of the voters in North Carolina, of which there are 70,000 teachers, yes," Kidd said.

The president of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Association of Educators, Erlene Lyde, told WBTV that McCrory's party could help teachers get a considerable raise.

"I don't know," Lyde said. "Maybe they'll do him a favor."

Horn said it doesn't matter what year it is - teachers deserve to get a raise.

"Whether a governor, a sitting governor, was popular or not popular, they would still be offering teacher raises in election years," Horn said.

Horn added that he will do what he can to increase teacher pay.

"I will certainly personally push for raises above 3%," Horn said. "But I am not about to make a promise I can't deliver."

Horn said Republican leaders should have early numbers of how much of a raise the state can afford as early as next week.

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