The Wake County school board adopted a plan Tuesday that will provide $15.75 million in pay raises for teachers and $510,000 more in salaries for occupational therapists and physical therapists.
Under the new teacher salary schedule, classroom teachers will see raises this year of amounts between $875 to $3,202. It’s the first step of what school leaders hope will be a plan to raise salaries to the national average by 2020.
The state mainly raised pay this year for beginning teachers. Wake’s plan gives raises to all teachers with the biggest raises targeted for experienced teachers, teachers who don’t get raises on the state’s salary step schedule and on hard-to-fill areas such as special education.
“A great deal of thought went into developing the specifics of this salary schedule that supports all our teachers in an appropriate manner,” school board member Susan Evans said Tuesday.
Occupational therapists and physical therapists are being moved to a new pay schedule that could result in veteran employees getting monthly $1,000 raises. School leaders hope the new step schedule will stem the high turnover rate among occupational therapists, who work with students with disabilities.
In addition to the raises approved Tuesday, the school board on Oct. 6 approved a new salary schedule with $1.8 million in raises for teachers who do extra duties such as coaching and a 3-percent raise for support staff.
All 18,000 Wake school employees will see a raise this year. The raises were largely made possible by a $44.6 million increase in school funding provided this year by the Wake County Board of Commissioners.