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

05/12/2014 1:26 PM

02/15/2015 11:19 AM

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,, 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.


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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