Under the Dome

Teacher pay in NC would increase for (almost) all under House and Senate proposals

Dome has fielded plenty of questions about teacher pay as the Senate is rolling out its budget this week. Teacher pay is a major piece of the state budget now under debate – and has emerged as a potent political issue in recent years as the state has moved to increase pay for teachers in relation to other states.

The Senate budget, expected to get a final vote this week, includes two teacher pay features: An increase in pay at most levels and a “step” increase, which means teachers would move up a year on the pay plan.

The House budget proposal does the same – but at different amounts.

It will be a negotiating point as the two budget plans meld into one and lawmakers look to adopt a new state spending plan by July 1.

The chart above is a House document that outlines the differing plans that apply to teachers, who are grouped in bands based on experience for purposes of determining pay. (Note: Some local systems add to these amounts.)

Here’s Dome’s break down:

▪ Both the House and Senate offer increases in pay to almost all teachers. The exception: The Senate would not increase the base pay of teachers with 25 or more years of experience.

The Senate would give teachers with 25 years or more a $1,000 bonus instead of making it a pay increase.

▪ The increases over the current budget as adopted by the House would provide more in pay to teachers with 15 or more years of experience than the Senate would. The Senate budget, as it relates to increases, favors teachers with up to 14 years of experience.

▪ Under both plans, a teacher with four years of experience now stands to see the biggest pay boost under the proposals.

That teacher (now paid $33,000) would enter a new pay band next year as a fifth-year teacher and benefit from the increase to that new band. In the Senate plan, a fourth-year teacher would see a 16 percent pay raise next year. Under the House plan, that same teacher would see a 12.8 percent increase.