North Carolina is fortunate to have teachers like Megan Taber who are willing to dedicate themselves to teaching the next generation and speak their mind regarding education policy (April 30 Point of View). Five years ago this week, the state’s Democratic leadership ordered unpaid furloughs for all state employees and teachers. This would surely make any teacher feel frustrated and lose patience.
As the son of an educator, I understand the issue of teacher compensation and how working conditions for teachers have changed over the past 30 years. This is why I have sponsored bipartisan legislation to reduce teacher paperwork. In a first step to improve teacher salaries, the state’s Republican leadership recently announced our plan to raise entry-level teacher pay by almost 14 percent so that in two years it’s among the highest in the Southeast. During this year’s short session, entry-level pay will be raised by $2,200 this year and another $2,000 in 2015, bringing North Carolina close to the national average.
This is just the first step. We need to make all teachers and state employees whole by restoring the frozen step increases instituted by Gov. Mike Easley and Bev Perdue. Additionally, we must collaborate with local school boards, county commissioners, educators and parents to find a better way to reward our best teachers.
State Rep. Tom Murry
The writer, a Republican, represents District 41.