One theory: NC Senate’s teacher pay plan a vehicle to kick teachers out before they retire

06/06/2014 3:59 PM

02/15/2015 11:26 AM

The Washington Post’s education blogger, Valerie Strauss, has a post this week about the N.C. Senate’s plan for increasing teacher salaries that says it “ ‘incentivizes’ teachers at specific experience levels to leave the classroom and find another profession.”

One of the controversies has been that the plan forces teachers to give up tenure to get a raise. Strauss offers a piece by educator James Hogan, who taught high school English for years and runs Teach Kids Productions, that says teachers who think they want to retire as teachers need to think twice about giving up career status for any amount of pay.

Hogan says the proposed Senate salary schedule keeps teacher pay flat through the first four years, increases teacher pay $1,000 for every year of service through a teacher’s 20th year, but then flattens it again. Teachers earn the same $50,000 from years 20-29. “That’s a decade of service without a pay raise,” he says. “In year 30, teachers earn just $42 more. Then, wages rise again, topping out at $56,129 at 36 years of service.”

The plan, he says, “provides a clear disincentive for teachers who seek to retire from teaching by denying them a raise for a decade. Why would the Senate structure salaries like that?”

The answer is this:

“The new, proposed Senate pay scale is built to soothe middle-career teachers. It is designed to work them through 20 years of service and then quietly encourage them to leave teaching by keeping their salaries flat. And if they don’t leave on their own, they have a handy, built-in mechanism to get rid of them – the complete absence of career status. They don’t have to fire the teacher who’s a couple of years away from retirement. They can simply opt to not re-hire her.”

Read the rest here.

About Greg Cote

The Opinion Shop logo

The Opinion Shop

Welcome to The Opinion Shop, where members of The N&O’s editorial board offer an eclectic array of their individual opinion products and give you an opportunity to offer your own.

Join the Discussion

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service