Candidate asks Wake County taxpayers to pay 'the price of four pizzas' to raise teacher pay

Posted by T. Keung Hui on May 12, 2014 

John Burns, a Democratic candidate for Wake County commissioner, is asking taxpayers “would you trade four pizzas to pay your child's favorite teacher a fairer salary?”

Burns is pointing to the Wake County school board’s budget request that includes a 3.5 percent pay raise for all employees, which Superintendent Jim Merrill says is the first step toward raising teacher pay to the national average by 2020.

Burns created a YouTube video and a website, www.4pizzas.org, saying he’s ‘starting a movement” to persuade the commissioners to support the plan. He says the pay raises will cost the average Wake taxpayer about $60 a year, or “the price of four pizzas.”

“It’s a website dedicated to showing the county just how crucial this vote is,” Burns says in the video.

Burns has also established a petition asking Commissioner Paul Coble, his Republican opponent this November, to support the school board’s budget request. Burns says he’ll present the petition at the commissioners’ June 2 meeting.

If the commissioners don’t back the pay raise, it’s likely to become an issue in this fall’s elections. Republicans, who hold all four seats on the ballot, need a sweep to remain in the majority on the board of commissioners.

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