Wake Ed

August 15, 2014

Wake County school leaders question lack of annual raises in new teacher pay schedule

Wake County Superintendent Jim Merrill questioned how the state’s new salary schedule provides raises for teachers every five years instead of annually.

Should the Wake County school system try to give pay raises to teachers more than once every five years?

The new state budget dumps the old teacher salary schedule of 37 steps and replaces it with six pay levels. The new schedule provides most teachers raises over their current salaries but would do so by giving a pay bump every five years instead of annually.

The old schedule was supposed to provide annual raises but, before the new budget, pay was largely frozen the past several years.

“Are we really going to sit with pay steps that don’t move someone for five years?” Superintendent Jim Merrill said to school board members at last week’s board work session.

“Five years – that’s what we’ve just gone through,” replied school board vice chairman Tom Benton.

“Even to be creative probably would require additional local dollars so we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us,” Merrill responded.

How receptive the Wake County Board of Commissioners would be to providing more local dollars for raises during the years between state pay bumps could hinge on this fall’s election.

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The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui.

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