Under the Dome

University students to rally for higher K-12 teacher pay

Another group is chiming in on raising beginning-teacher salaries.

Students for Education Reform-North Carolina will bring two 10-foot ladders signed by students at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University to a rally outside the Legislative Building on Monday afternoon to show their support for raising early-career teacher pay. The ladders are meant to symbolize “rebuilding the ladder” to the teaching profession.

Beginning teacher pay in North Carolina ranked 48th in the nation, according to the National Education Association.

Gov. Pat McCrory, House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger have promised to include pay raises for early-career teachers in the next budget.

The rally is scheduled in advance of a North Carolina Educator Effectiveness and Compensation Task Force meeting. The task force is considering performance pay for teachers.

Students for Education Reform-North Carolina is the state chapter of a group that organizes university students to talk about K-12 education policy. Two Princeton University students founded the group.

Last year, Students for Education Reform received $650,000 from the Walton Family Foundation. The foundation also funds Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, a major backer of charter schools and vouchers.

The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation also funds Students for Education Reform.

The group on its website features letters from students that support charter schools and making school employment decisions based on evaluations rather than seniority.