Soon, the North Carolina General Assembly will vote on a history-making budget agreement which provides the largest teacher pay raise in North Carolina history and creates the North Carolina Education Endowment.
In the agreement, North Carolina’s teachers will receive an average seven percent (7%) increase in their salaries. The budget makes good on the promise made by Governor McCrory, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, Speaker Thom Tillis, and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger in February to raise starting teacher pay by 14% over the next two years--all while increasing veteran teacher pay. The agreement further preserves teacher assistant positions as they currently exist.
Importantly, the budget agreement includes the creation of the North Carolina Education Endowment, which was first proposed by Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest along with Senator Jerry Tillman earlier this year. The Endowment will allow corporations and individuals to make contributions toward increasing teacher pay, either by a direct donation or through their state tax forms. The bill additionally creates a special “I Support Teachers” license plate, the proceeds from which will be deposited into the Endowment.
The budget also provides raises for state employees, with most employees receiving a $1,000 raise to their annual salary and receiving five bonus vacation days. Other employees will have their pay increased either through a step increase or by other means.
“I applaud the General Assembly for coming together and fashioning a history-making budget,” Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest explained. “Over the past 18 months, I have traveled all around North Carolina talking about the importance of increasing teacher compensation—with an emphasis on retaining high quality teachers to instruct our students. This budget is an excellent first step in meeting that goal.”
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