7.31.2014

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The Pay Scale No Politician Wants You to See

How the "largest pay raise in state history" amounts to an average of $270.





After nearly two months of waiting, the North Carolina legislature has erupted in a budget compromise. The bill, which was publicly posted last night at 11pm, can be passed into law as early as this weekend. The Senate is likely voting as of the writing of this post; the House can pass it as soon as the bill has been public for 48 hours.

To begin: if you are a young teacher, the new budget bill, and its new, six-step teacher pay scale, appears very rewarding.

Teachers in the first several years of their experience are rewarded a worthy and well-earned pay increase. These new educators, who have labored nearly their entire careers without any raises, will see their paychecks jump by as much as 18.5 percent--nearly $6,000 for teachers in their fifth year of service.

What legislators don't want to show you, though, is the salary schedule from 2008.


That salary schedule, which was the last teacher pay scale before the economic downturn of 2009 forced the state government to freeze salaries, is awfully telling when put next to the 2014-15 proposed pay scale.

Here's a chart that shows the 2008-09, 2013-14, and proposed 2014-15 pay scales:




If you only look at the 2013-14 numbers, the proposed budget looks like a great deal--an average pay increase of $2,129, thanks mostly to the big jumps in the first 12 years of the pay scale.

But when you stack the proposed 2014-15 scale next to the 2008-09 scale, the numbers tell a different story. Under that scenario, out of the 32 steps of the scale, 13 pay grades earn less money in the 2014-15 budget. The average pay increase is $270.

Read that again: if we were simply comparing the proposed 2014-15 salary schedule to the 2008-09 salary schedule, the average teacher would see a pay increase of $270.

Further more, these are raw numbers. What that comparison fails to take into account is the simple cost of inflation over the last 6 years. If the 2008-09 salary schedule had been kept in place and updated each year to account for inflation, the average teacher would earn $4,212 more than the 2014-15 proposed budget would pay them.

Again: if we simply adopted the 2008-09 salary schedule this year and adjusted it for inflation, the average teacher would make $4,212 more. (See chart below)





Now, this blog post pays attention to one item in a big budget deal. What else does the budget agreement mean for North Carolina?

- Dramatically changes funding structures for teacher assistants, and uses NC Lottery dollars for "one-time" expenses--setting up future budget challenges

- Cuts $76mm from the UNC system

- Reduces the Department of Public Instruction budget by 10 percent

- Decreases child care subsidies for needy families

- Further cuts Medicaid spending, adding an additional percent to last year's cuts to now total 4 percent

- Reduces the number of local mental health agencies

So what do North Carolinians do?

There doesn't appear to be much on the table at this point. Given that it's taken an entire month beyond the start of the fiscal year, and that House Speaker Thom Tillis is more than ready to hit the US Senate campaign trail full time, this budget proposal will likely sail through to the Governor's desk.

Make no mistake--Thom Tillis and everyone up for re-election in November is shilling for your vote. Teacher pay turned into a lightning rod issue because public educators demanded it to be one. While politicians ignored educators last year, they learned their lesson and rushed to raise salaries, even to the point of legislative deadlock, because they knew legions of Republican teachers would vote against them if they didn't.

While this budget proposal is a step in the right direction, it still falls thousands of dollars short of what teachers were promised just six years ago. And while few are willing to admit it, the lack of funding our government claims is fueling our limited ability to raise teacher pay is due in part to the dramatic and far-reaching tax cuts enacted by our legislature in recent years--tax cuts that are already falling hundreds of millions of dollars short of initial projections.

Our state legislators tell us they value public education. This year, they're offering a tiny bit of compensation and billing it as a historic raise. What they've yet to do, so far, is admit that rebuilding and restoring our public school system to a funding level it experienced within this decade will mean raising taxes.






 




91 comments:

  1. Teachers still wanting promises of six years ago delivered on are even more delusional than they appear at first blush. Apparently they never had to explain the meaning of 'don't look a gift horse in the mouth' especially in tough times when everyone that is not on the public dole and actually making the public dole possible, has seen real wages decline. Keep banging your privileged little tenure tambourines. The private and charter rock stars will wash away that entitlement attitude. Thank goodness for the children, north Carolina is on the forefront of this.

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    1. I thought about dignifying your ignorant 'gift horse' and idiotic 'tenure tambourines' comments with a response, but I changed my mind so...
      ...
      [smh]

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    2. Let's see - I'm paying you $7, I've contracted lawfully with you and owe you $10, I have access to $$$, give me $1, I'll pay you $9. You now have a 7% pay raise. Don't worry be happy. - Public dole - ? You are clueless & I could care less about tenure, but hey more public $ going to private & charters - yeah buddy. Smart one you are.

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    3. Yep the above numbers are not accurate but they represent the picture. More like I'm paying you $7 you give me a quarter, I'll raise your pay to $7.49. I still owe you $10.

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    4. Why are you anonymous?

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    5. Anonymous
      The expression is I couldn't care less. If you could care less, it means you care!

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    6. Your yearly salary is actully 50% higher than you're actually reporting. You only work 8 months out of a year. Go get a summer job and thats your raise!

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    7. Summer break, winter break, Thanksgiving, spring break, fall break, etc. You get a lot of time off. Way more than anyone in corporate America who gets maybe 15 days.

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    8. Become a teacher since they hardly work! I hear they are hiring all over the country.

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    9. During 2009 my company cut salaries across the board 20%. It'd been nice to have a pay freeze. Interesting article though. Oh and everyone worked the entire summer with that 20% pay decrease :)

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    10. Ignorance. It's almost comical how non educators think they know it all when it comes to education.

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    11. Ally, it's facts. Teachers work less than most in Corporate America. If you want to make any sort of money in the financial world you work 50 to 60 hrs a week and you get 10 to 15 days of PTO. As a teacher you get atleast 50 days off a year with no work. I come from a family of teachers, I know what I'm talking about.

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    12. Pay isn't the important part here. Cuts to educational programs are going to be far more detrimental to the masses being educated by under funded classrooms and schools. Less and less money, to teach more and more students, with more and more rookie teachers filling vacancies of tenured veteran highly effective teachers, should solve our education crisis. You clearly don't have any vested interest in the society around you, if you support the fundamental dismantling of public education.

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  2. Come to my classroom for just 1 week and I promise you that you will change your mind. Or, better yet, why doesn't the state just pay me the babysitting wage for each child that is in my classroom every day, each week - I wouldn't mind that pay - it would significantly surpass the garbage that the legislature wants to provide to all of the teachers of the state

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    1. Then don't teach...its that simple.

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    2. Exactly. I know the job is hard and taxing, and it doesn't pay well. Our police officers also have a dangerous and mentally stressful job that is critical to society. Both should be paid more than they do, but teachers are the ones who always, always complain that it is never enough. If you are unsatisfied and you truly feel you are not respected in that job, then just find another.

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    3. Good solution! "Don't teach." I guess we should just completely get rid of our education system and only allow the wealthy and middle class to get an education by paying for private schools. I'm sure it would save the government loads of money.

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    4. No, there will be people who are willing to do it just like there are people willing to put their lives on the line every day as law enforcement officers, paramedics, firefighters, etc, do -- and often at low wages.

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    5. Good point. Maybe we could even lower the pay further! :) "Don't like it, then get out" still applies.

      But there's a problem with that.

      Lower pay means that more and more good people leave and lower quality people stay. Teaching is one of those disciplines that really needs to have even stricter standards and certainly significantly higher pay. You get what you pay for and education is not a discipline that should be this dramatically underpaid. Quality education, really requires quality people. And thus a quality salary. There are so many outstanding people that would love to teach, and don't. The pay drives them away. It's the kids that suffer in the process. This isn't really about low pay for teachers, ultimately.

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    6. You're a teacher, not an ER Surgeon. The best and brightest 2nd grade math teacher is much easier to replace than the best and brightest nuclear engineer. Lower pay doesn't mean lower quality, it means that your job isn't that hard. I'm not saying that, economics is. Hence why you're paid lower than you like. If you feel that your skills are THAT much better than the field then I'm surprised there's no other career that could offer you a competitive salary. Clearly you're flush with teaching skills above and beyond.

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    7. Wow...clearly you don't know anyone who teaches otherwise you would know how hard of a job it is. Don't speak to something you don't know.

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    8. Who deems teachers to be lesser? Why? I am willing to bet that a nuclear engineer and ER surgeon were educated by...a teacher or two. Some of us worked hard and paid for further education and simply chose a different path. And why does the NC Gen. Assembly not see the value in that?

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    9. And how did the ER Surgeon get those skills in the first place? That ER Surgeon may not have even decided to be an ER Surgeon if their 2nd grade teacher didn't inspire them to do so. I'm not a teach but I know a few and I respect what they do and it's really sad how people do see the big picture. Education isn't a single year / a single grade that you can judge as being important or not. Every teacher builds upon the base provided by the previous teacher.

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    10. You don't think a teacher's job is hard? Ha.
      You know nothing about what teachers do, then.
      We never asked for pay like an ER surgeon. We just need enough for the hard work that we do.
      You say teachers always, always complain. The louder your voice, the more gets done. Sitting back and doing nothing would've gotten us nowhere. Where as you see it as complaining, we see it as fighting for deserved pay. Go ahead and give that increase to police and firefighters as well. You'll never see us bashing them to make ourselves feel better. They work hard, too.
      Put yourself in a classroom for one day...one week...one year. You'll never look at it the same way.
      Teachers don't just teach math, science, reading... Teachers teach LIFE skills. Sometimes teachers are the ONLY people vested in a child's life. We do SO MUCH MORE than teach curriculum. So, we DO deserve better pay. Our job is NOT easy. But it IS rewarding.

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    11. Teachers never asked to be paid like a nuclear engineer or an ER Surgeon. Teachers only asked that they be paid with the raises they were promised and be able to make a comfortable living off of their 60+ hour a week job. (Many of the good ones work that many hours a week). What teachers are asking to be paid doesn't even begin to compare with surgeon pay, so I don't know why you feel this argument is valid.

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    12. Debate can occur over and over. Bottom line - the people who have the most important jobs - teachers, police & firefighters are at the bottom of the pay scale. Without teachers, how would people continue to learn? Don't say online because somewhere a TEACHER developed that program or class!

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    13. The rich sending their kids to private school won't save us a dime! We're being asked to pay for THAT too with vouchers! As if they don't get enough welfare from the top!

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    14. ^^^ That was the most idiotic thing I've read. Enough welfare from the top??? WTF are you talking about??

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    15. Everyone would get vouchers and the private schools (which are generally far better) would be available to everyone regardless of economic status. Why be against vouchers?

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    16. Irreplaceable teachers inspire surgeons and engineers. Bad teachers foster ignoramuses, many of which can be found posting right wing nonsense anonymously on the internet about how teachers are easily replaceable.

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    17. And this is why, as a teacher, I'm going back to school to supplement my income~as a NURSE. I WAS on track for a more profitable career and choose to teach when I had my own children and realized just how crucial these educators were! Most of theselawmakers don't have a stake in public education. Their wives can stay home or they put their children in private school!

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  3. Where were all these charts when Perdue was governor? Crickets everytime I ask this.

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    1. The 2008-09 salaries (when Perdue was governor) had a lot more purchasing power than the proposed 2014-15 salaries.

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    2. Look at Purdue, the funding as Governor she sought for teachers and vetos if bills that hurt N-Carolinians. Take a detailed LOOK at "what and when" those vetos were OVER RODE.I was surprised to find she actually tried to pump money into the school system.

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    3. Hear the crickets now? Keep chirping ignorant, and you'll be rewarded with a virtual dunce cap.

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    4. These numbers are misleading and agenda driven. I have quite a few teacher friends and none of them have taken a pay cut, not a single one. So these red numbers just show you the agenda behind the numbers. They are here to demonize the republicans while championing the left, liberal, union wanting agenda. The only time education has TRULY been cut was during the Bev Purdue years. The scary thing is you want the Democrats back in less than 4 years while education spending has gone up every year since the republicans took over. More than 52% of the states budget goes directly to education, up from 49% just 3 years ago. Quit misleading the North Carolinian people, and open your eyes to the truth.

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  4. Good idea Tim. This person clearly has problems and misplaced aggression, but most of all a lack of knowledge in this area. Much like the people making laws right now.

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  5. Perdue's last two years was with a republican legislature. Also, Perdue did not give tax breaks to the rich and corporations nor money to charters or vouchers to attend private (no guarantee they are any better)schools and then claim they couldn't afford to adequately compensate teachers.

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  6. Mr. Hogan, why are you reaching all the way back to 2008? That seems like an attempt to pretend that the new Republican state government is at fault for what the Democrats did BEFORE the Republicans took over.

    It also seems extraordinarily disconnected from economic reality. Times are tough! Despite the decline in NC's unemployment rate this year, to an official rate of 6.4%, that is still very high, much higher than SC and VA. What's more, many other North Carolinians, not counted in that statistic, are underemployed or so discouraged that they've given up looking for work. Average North Carolina income and standard of living are DOWN substantially from 2008.

    Under these circumstances, expecting that you can raise taxes on everyone else, most of whom are hurting financially even MORE than teachers are, so that you can completely shield teachers from that sad economic reality, is wildly unrealistic.

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    1. I can't really speak for him, but I'd say probably its because after that our salaries were frozen. ncdave4life - was your salary frozen? Were you promised a salary, and then told, oh sorry, we are out of money. You still have to do the work, but we aren't going to pay you for it.

      Believe me, teachers are more aware of the poverty issues than you are. We are the ones who search for summer deals on paper, pencils, and other school supplies so we can give them to students who can't afford them. When was the last time you bought 100 packets of loose leaf paper or 50 boxes of pencils to donate to needy students? For me, it was last summer. 100 composition books, 200 folders, 50 spiral notebooks.. we buy in quantity, sir, and it's not for US. We are WELL aware of the poverty in NC. We are also part of the impoverished community.

      Funny that the impoverished give so much, and the wealthy give so little. That is who we need to tax, the wealthy, the high level executives with a multitude of cars, homes, what have you. We need to cut the politicians salaries, although they will NEVER allow that to be brought up. We need to even out the pay scale for the administrative positions - we need to ask why their salaries are so high. Did they take any sort of pay cut?

      There are a thousand and one questions we need to ask, and people like you ignore them. But I ask again, was your salary frozen for all those years? Were your benefits hacked away one by one? Did you suddenly find that you weren't going to make the salary promised to you?

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  7. Look at the simple version: teachers were promised a certain salary and they weren't given what they were promised. Now 6 years after they have not been paid what they were promised, after their benefits have been cut and premiums have been raised, after extra duties were added and no supplies were given, the state says they will give a historic raise. The truth is there is no 7 %. They are juggling funds again. They have moved what is essentially a longevity bonus into the salary and calling it an increase. It isn't an increase when it is already part of the pay. It isn't an increase when you don't provide necessities to complete the job. I don't understand the misplaced animosity of the unknown person above. I doubt they would be okay with their employer making promises they didn't keep.

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    1. Guess what? In most businesses, people aren't promised bonuses. If they get them, even if they are typical at Christmas or so forth, it isn't a guarantee if the funds aren't available. Why do teachers always feel they should be guaranteed bonuses and pay raises? That is something that no other jobs do. The fact is a lot of people agree that you needed a raise and probably need more, but the constant complaining gets old to others who are struggling through economic times, too. Honestly, if it is such a burden, find another field to work in.

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    2. Perhaps teachers believe that b/c of a published pay scale. Teachers are professionals; my job requires the same education as a lawyer. I work far more than 40 hrs per week. No one wants taxes raised on lower/middle class people, but why shouldn't corporations and the wealthy pay their share?

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    3. I'm a lawyer and my dad was a teacher with his master's. Unless you have a PhD they are not the same educational requirements. In fact, a PhD would be more difficult than a law degree, but not a masters and certainly not a bachelors.

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    4. A law degree is a two year degree. My job requires a master's degree, which is what I hold.

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    5. Obviously if you hold a J.D. or J.S.D, it is a much higher level. If you have a master's of law, it is similar. Not exact of course. Also, I had to take additional coursework and tests to become a licensed teacher. I am a school librarian, a job that requires a master's degree. Classroom teachers have to have a Bachelor's Degree. They do not just roll out of bed one morning and decide to get a teaching job.

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    6. Sara, you realize the rich pay more in taxes than you will make in your entire career. They're taxed enough. Do better for yourself and quit looking for handouts...

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    7. Sara, surely you do not think a master's in teaching is the same in rigor and time as a law degree? I am a teacher with a Master's degree. I also watched my husband work his way through law school when we were first married. I will defend hardworking teachers until my last breath, but I have been embarrassed in the last two days at the ignorance shown by so many of my colleagues. I am a veteran teacher who would "lose" longevity pay, but this raise is not only more than that, but will benefit us all in the long run if it is sustained and not ambushed by NCAE of all people. Is it the same as above? No, but that world doesn't exist. Rather than try to have rational compromises, it seems so many of our current "veteran" teachers would rather throw this money back in the faces of the legislature just because they do not like who it is coming from party-wise. I will take my raise, I will continue working hard for my students, and I will be grateful that I am employed gainfully and have an opportunity to do what I love. If this job couldn't support me and my family, then I would have to choose another, yes. Teaching should pay a living wage, but it is not, nor has ever been a high wage earner, and that is not why I entered the profession. The starting pay for teachers was atrocious and this begins a process toward correcting that. It is more than I have made in 6 years as a teacher, and if you do examine the actual bill, you will see that it is only one or two years at the very top of the scale who will not have a raise -- yet they will the next year if they stay in the profession past 30. I'm sorry, but the folks who have been "frozen" at 50K plus are being selfish to the countless others of us under 20 years service who have been frozen at much less. This is one teacher who can think rationally and recognize that what happened today is a good thing for teachers who are truly interested in working and educating students, regardless of who is in office. I know the follow-up will be the old "pitting teacher against teacher," but that only will happen if we cannot support one another. The young teachers have a much higher raise than I do and I am thankful for that, not bitter.

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    8. Dearest Sara: A plain vanilla law degree (Juris Doctor or J.D.) requires 3 years of post college coursework (usually 15-16 hours per semester, or 30-32 hours each year) and passage of the bar exam. Put another way, no one becomes a "lawyer" without having graduated with a bachelor's degree, having been accepted into a law school, and having graduated from a law school after 3 years. In addition, a lawyer must pass a state bar exam before being allowed to practice law. The above description is the MINIMUM requirement for an attorney (lawyer) in the State of North Carolina. A Masters of Law (LLM) requires additional years of study IN A LAW SCHOOL and would be the equivalent of a PhD specialty. These are the facts. Sincerely, Wake Forest University, B.A., 1972; Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D. 1975.

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    9. A little known fact is that a J.D. degree is NOT a graduate degree, so comparing it to a MEd. is factually wrong but probably gratifying none the less. Most state bars require a four year BA/BS degree to join the bar, which is why people assume the JD is a graduate degree. But you can still find law schools that do not require a BA/BS to attend law school.

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  8. Teachers do need raises, but they really need to wake up and look around outside of somewhere besides themselves. Businesses all over have had cutbacks and lay offs are threatened all the time. Very few people are guaranteed raises, and yes, they should have had cost of living raises, but it didn't happen, first under Purdue and in the last year, under the NCGOP. Well, they are getting one, and because it's not what everyone of them, especially the older teachers making 50K plus wanted, they are complaining about the young teachers getting $33K. Seriously? I have defended teachers through this whole thing, but it seems like they would rather get nothing if they don't have all the veterans getting huge raises just for remaining in the classroom. That isn't economic reality, and it isn't applicable to any other field.

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    1. Where does above anonymous get off thinking the "old teachers" get off making 50k a year??? I have 19 years experience and for the last 6 years have made 42k. I would love to see 50k! What I wish for more than money is to see discipline back in the schools, to have people who are not professional educators or who have spent less than 2 weeks in a classroom attempting to teach to stop making decisions regarding what and how I am supposed to teach!
      Maybe teachers would rather have their step put back in place for our years of service to our students along with a modest cost of living raise. Or maybe our years of service and experience is not necessary and the state should make it easier for us dinosaurs to early retire!

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    2. Then leave if you don't like the pay. Houston is paying teachers a ton. If money means that much to you then you'll go where the money is. But the truth is, you and I both won't leave because you're too comfortable.

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    3. According to the document, if you have 19 years experience, you will get a 3.3% raise this year, and if you were also making 42, you must have a master's and/or NBCT. So you will get 43,500 + 10% for masters if you have already had it and 12% for NBCT on top of that plus whatever county supplement you get. Next year, you will get a 9% raise if this is implemented. Go talk to some LEOs with those numbers. Go talk to some people with your same education levels in private industry with that raise percentage and see how angry they would be for making 3% more next year.

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    4. I have a good idea. How about you just give the offensive 3% raise you are getting back in protest.

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  9. I taught school from 2009-2011. Salary adjusted to 18 years experience based on prior employment. No raises during that time. The pay grade number increased each year but the salary amount shifted to where the pay was the same each year.

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  10. North Carolina has the 10th highest cost of living, and the 10th most robust economy out of the 50 states. Times here are no tougher than they are anywhere else. If North Carolina was paying its teachers (and other public employees) an "average" wage, then it would be 10th in the county in teacher pay. The legislature in Raleigh has decided, unlike other states, to prioritize benefits to business at the expense of your child's and grandchild's education. It's shocking to me that so many people don't mind that, let alone defend it. It's not about "out of touch" teachers. Teachers are, in fact, the only people who make our school system as good as it is, despite all of the challenges. The fact that they "put their money where their mouth is" in promoting the education of your children should earn them your praise, not your condemnation.

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    1. Yes, Republicans are the problem. Rich and corrupt; some of the dems as well. However, it is easier to keep drinking the kool-aid they offer and blame teachers instead of taking responsibility of putting these fools in office in the first place.

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    2. It s not just Republicans, it is all politicians! They are for self and nothing else, both state and nation! They are going to get what they want and don't seem to care for the "people"!

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    3. Agreed. Made me wonder who all these Republican teachers were the legislators are "afraid" of. If you work for the government (all public school teachers) then why are you a Republican? Like shooting yourself in the foot?

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  11. How do you justify your raise to someone who spent 4 years unemployed?

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  12. I'm sorry that you have been unemployed for 4 years. I would think that teachers would be able to have at least a cost of living raise. BTW I know what it's like to be unemployed.Don't give up. He went from a 6 figure income, to unloading produce at a curb market, and cleaning chicken houses, to contract work. I know hard times too.

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  13. How do you justify your health to someone who's been I'll for the last four years?

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  14. I have worked for six years with no pay raise just like any other american I would just like to have a raise

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  15. How do teachers justify raises for 5 day less than 40 hrs week and 9 months a yr. I work 60 plus hrs 7 days a week 52 weeks a yr barely make 45000 a yr..yes u have a degree but your hrs of work are far less than mine. Before u start on me my mother is a retired teacher my sister and brother in law and my oldest daughter are teachers in nc. Want more money do more

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    1. You obviously do not know what teachers do. I am married to one, their day does not end when the school bell rings. My wife leaves the house at 6 in the morning comes back at 5 takes an hour off and then works from 6 until 11. This does not take into account the hundreds of dollars which we have paid for school supplies out of her own pocket. She has to take a summer job during her break so that we can pay student loans. Then there is annoying parents, regulations, and constant testing, and because she works at a low-income school the funding continues to be cut further. I shudder to think that you believe that you could stand in a classroom deal with 22 6 year olds 7 days a week plus parents, federal regulations, state regulations, and no job security and believe that you would feel 1900 a month is fair compensation. That doesn't take into account the 20k plus of debt that you must take on to be a teacher, and if God forbid you were in a masters program at the time that they pulled masters pay you have even more debt like my wife. Good luck making those 500 dollar a month payments, while also making rent, groceries, electricity, and school supplies payments. I'm glad that you are able to provide for yourself, but thinking that what you do is harder than what a teacher does is ludicrous.

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    2. Gosh if I were you I would get a teaching degree and start teaching. You would have to work less hours and have your summers free...and they get awesome gifts for Christmas and Teacher Appreciation Week!

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    3. LOL! You have no clue about the hours we work. Ignorance.

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    4. You brought the debt on yourself. Don't get into debt that you can't handle. You're not very wise financially of you think it's smart to take out student loans and rack up debt to only become a teacher.

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  16. First, shouldn't the chart compare last year's to this years, instead of 2008-2009? You're comparing apples to oranges. If you're going to compare to '08-'09, you also need to back up about 6 years of experience. I also don't understand why you added 6 years of inflation, when the step ups each year likely have that built in. Also, like many are saying, this is a 9-month pay scale. To get the true salary, divide by ".75". A teacher with 5 years experience will make the equivalent of $48,600, which is competitive.

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    1. This is a 10 month pay scale. Teachers work for 10 months, and are unemployed for the remaining two months of the year. However, we still have to pay for benefits for those two months. I am a teacher, and I choose to have my pay spread out over 12 months so that my 1st and 10th checks are not significantly less than the others. I am a single mother with 16 years of service to the state of NC. I bring home less than $2000 a month. I am stuck with a mortgage that takes just about half of what I bring home. I understand that everyone needs a raise and I am thankful that it looks as if teachers may get one this year, but providing for my family and the students in my classroom is becoming increasingly difficult. I love what I do and would like to feel respected and valued. I know there are many folks in NC in the same position, whether they are teachers, police officers, or other state employees. Our legislators need to figure this out for ALL of us!

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    2. No 5 year teacher in NC makes 48,600. Our contract is also for 10 months, not 9. They are comparing 08-09, because some years are making LESS now, than they did 6 years ago. Teachers feel undervalued. The expectations for teachers have increased at a much higher rate than the salary. If you don't teach, you don't understand. Period.

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    3. That guy obviously sucks at math. Do students a favor and stay away from the classroom.

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    4. The 2008-2009 pay scale is used because that is when the salaries were frozen. Step 8 on the 08-09 scale is the same as Step 13 on the 2013-2014 scale. Even though new salary schedules were published, all it did was move the same number down the column.

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  17. I'm really not happy with the 9-month pay scale thing. First of all it's 10 month. And I don't know a single teacher who doesn't work over the summer preparing lesson plans for the next year. It's more like 2 months of part time work during the year for no pay if you look at it the way your math just did. I am a high school math teacher, and my job is a lot harder than many of you seem to think. And although this isn't directly related to your post, I would like to say that teachers are not simply complaining about their own pay. I will be at Step 2 on the pay scale this year, so I am extremely excited about the pay I will be getting, as that will make it where I can finally comfortably pay my bills. However, the newer teachers who are getting the higher raises are seeing what is happening to the veteran teachers, and we know that if we stay in this career, we will be treated the same way. Now, I have two degrees. One is in Secondary Math Education. The other is in Mathematics. I could easily leave this teaching job and make significantly more money, as many of you are suggesting. I choose not to because I care about the future of our education system. If all of us left and got a better paying job, what would be left of our education system? I don't know about all of the teaching fields, but I know high school math and high school science is already facing the problem of having teachers leave for higher paying jobs. My particular school has had a class with no math teacher and no science teacher for the last year. Students are forced to learn these difficult subjects with multiple substitutes who don't know math and science. This school has had a class with no math teacher for at least part of the year for at least 3 years. This is because math and science teachers are able to get higher paying jobs as some of you are implying we should, and they do! My worries are not with what my new pay is going to be. My worry is that these students are going without the education they need because good teachers are leaving and getting higher paying jobs. I completely understand that there are people in other professions that are struggling as well, many of those being necessary professions such as police officers. No teacher is denying that. However, teachers also work in the education system that is collapsing as we speak. We are looking for ways to stop this collapse and provide the education our kids deserve. It's not about the money. And if we want to talk math, here's the math. As a starting teacher, I made $1700 a month (I got paid over 12 months). I then had to pay my rent, which was $500 a month. Then there are utilities, which are $150 a month. Then there is your car payment, which depends on your car. Let's just say you have a $200 car payment, which is pretty minimal for a good car that won't need repairs every couple of months. Then there's gas, which is at least $200 a month, and $200 for groceries if you eat only $50/week in groceries. THEN you have a minimum of about $200 a month in paying off student loans for the four years of school you had to endure (for no pay) to get this job. That leaves $250 a month for extra food (since it's nearly impossible to live off of $50/week in groceries), medical expenses (copays), phone bills, internet or satellite/cable (As teachers, we need to at least have internet). So, it is difficult to get all of your bills paid with this salary. So, why wouldn't teachers leave the profession? So many people have said if we don't like it, we should just leave, but haven't realized that this is exactly what is happening and that is why teachers are complaining. We see what the result of that is for our future generations!

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  18. keep voting democrat and you will keep getting less pay. They are destroying the middle class and the working people.....

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    1. Name two things the republicans are doing for the middle class and working people.

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  19. They think SO much of the education that allows them to get $174,000/120 days/year representing their constituents.

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  20. I'm sick of teachers' complaints. Everyone knows that if they made millions or even billions annually, they would work tirelessly--or pay others to do so-- to influence elections just like the Koch brothers. I prefer to keep power within the known US oligarchy, redistribution of wealth is frightening.

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  21. I believe that your 2008-09 schedule is off by one step. Steps 0 AND 1 received a base salary of $30,430.

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  22. My bad. That was the 2009-10 schedule, not the 2008-09 one.

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  23. As a parent, I am VERY concerned about our public education system. It seems that it has continued to degrade over the years. I definitely support a higher salary for our educators because I want my children to receive the best education that they can get, BUT... I have to say teachers, I am not at all impressed with the quality of education that is being provided. I CONSISTENTLY hear my children and other children reporting teacher behaviour that is lacking in educational quality AND all around work ethic. When I consistently hear reports of teachers spending the majority of class time playing with their phones or YouTube-ing while they give their class busy work to do, its hard to justify pay increases for someone who obviously doesn't deserve to have a job period, much less one that has such an influence on impressionable children. Everyone believes they are worth more than they get, but how many actually prove that day in and day out? One shouldn't use what they feel is inadequate compensation as justification for inadequate performance.

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  24. "...if we were simply comparing the proposed 2014-15 salary schedule to the 2008-09 salary schedule, the average teacher would see a pay increase of $270."

    Nice try, but it's not so simple. You can put the two salary schedules side-by-side, but to suggest we should compare the new proposed schedule to what we would have been making in 2008 had the recession not happened and the salary schedule not been adjusted is ridiculous. If you look at the 1996 salary schedule (as long as we're comparing past "promises"), I should be making about $30,300 by now, but according to the current (not proposed), I'm making closer to $41,000. And under the new schedule, I'll be making more like $43,500. That means that I'll be making 44% more than what I was promised in 1996 when I started teaching. Should I give it back? It's not what they promised me.

    Teachers: let's stop quibbling over what our salary might have been, stop blaming the current GA for all our woes, and stop "demanding" to be treated better. It makes us sound small and selfish and petty. Instead, let's be indispensable. Let's be so good at our jobs that no one would dare think of replacing us. Let's quietly take over the world instead of holding up signs demanding it be given to us.

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  25. Put simply, NC wants to get out of public education. It costs too much. It's much easier to fund charter schools and hope that parents will become disillusioned with public education and home school or private school. It's education segregation all over again except this time it's along economic lines. Children from poorer famillies will to be the only ones who attend public schools. They will be less likely to complain about the poor conditions of the buildings, the lack of up to date technology, old textbooks, and the less talented teachers. They have other worries. The talented teachers will be employed elsewhere. By the way, I work at a school as a librarian. I admire the teachers. They have to deal with so much on a daily basis - you have no idea of the challenges they face. If you think it's like it was when you were in school, you're wrong. If you think anyone can teach, you're wrong. Say a prayer for our childrens' futures - especially the poor.

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  26. Good analysis, James.

    And let's not forget that on the backside of that 08-09 recession Tillis was elected and gave several of his staffers hefty raises, a couple in the 25-30 percent range, when they (Rep. legislature) came in and denied the rank and file workforce any extra gas or grocery money until an election year. Oooh, lookee-there, now it's time to buy some votes!

    And the current executive branch has done the same thing. Remember the young (I mean baby-faced young, fresh out of college) DHHS staffers who got upper $80K salaries with horrid qualifications? Cronies. Talk about an entitlement attitude. It's disgusting hypocrisy from the current Republican leadership in this state.

    Entitlement (Merriam-Webster):
    * the condition of having a right to have, do, or get something
    * the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges)
    * a type of financial help provided by the government for members of a particular group [i.e., cronies]

    Oh, and anyone who says teachers and state employees didn't get raises under Democratic leadership doesn't know the facts or is just spouting bogus Republican propaganda. There's pay raise history over the last 20 years that shows both state employees and teachers received pay/cost of living raises much more often than not under Democratic leadership. It was usually enough to help keep up with the rising costs of goods and services. (No, I'm not going to provide you the link. Google it. It's available.)

    They're not buying back my vote, and apparently not many others with this latest ploy. It takes more than an election year bribe to the masses to buy back votes when the cronies got bankrolled, relatively speaking.

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  27. I guess the raises mean N.C. citizens should just forget about the massive raises given to cronies by current GOP leadership (recall DHHS hiring and the raises given to staffers shortly after the 2010 elections). Some of those raises reached into the 25 and 30 percent marks -- unheard of for the rank and file workforce.

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  28. Teachers are not asking to be paid much just enough to compensate a raise in the cost of living. And what no one has mentioned is that North Carolina is ranked 47th in the nation in terms of what it pays it's theachers. And North Carolina is definitely not ranked 47th in living expenses or taxes.

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  29. It's your union and your political party so stop your damn whining. You chose to be a teacher knowing what the pay and working condition were. If you don't like it take your skills else where and see if you can get better pay.

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