State Politics

NC budget begins system of teacher bonuses

McCrory touts teacher pay increase as he signs state budget

Gov. Pat McCrory signed the state budget Thursday at Union County Elementary School. McCrory announced that the $22.34 billion budget includes a 4.7 percent pay increase for teachers across the state, meaning that for the first time in state histo
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Gov. Pat McCrory signed the state budget Thursday at Union County Elementary School. McCrory announced that the $22.34 billion budget includes a 4.7 percent pay increase for teachers across the state, meaning that for the first time in state histo

The new state budget gives teachers a variety of ways to make more money, on top of their raises.

A spokesman for Gov. Pat McCrory said the Republican governor is likely to sign the budget this week. The legislature passed it July 1.

Teachers would get raises averaging 4.7 percent. Pay is capped at $51,000 a year for teachers with bachelor’s degrees and 25 years experience or more.

Rewarding test scores

The budget begins two-year tests of bonus programs for two categories of teachers:

Third grade teachers: Those in the top 25 percent in the state according to student growth scores in reading from the previous year will split $5 million. Third-grade teachers whose reading growth scores put them in the top 25 percent in their local districts will split another $5 million pot.

Data on how much students’ test scores improved from 2015-16 to 2016-17 — and how much a teacher is deemed to have influenced the improvement — will be used to determine who gets the extra money. The bonuses will be paid in January 2017 and January 2018.

Existing state law requires some students who aren’t reading at grade level by the end of third grade to be retained.

AP, IB and CTE teachers: Advanced Placement course teachers will receive $50 bonuses for each of their students who score 3 or higher on AP exams. Teachers of International Baccalaureate Diploma Program courses will receive a $50 bonus for each student who scores 4 or better on IB exams.

Those bonuses are capped at $2,000 per teacher per year. Scores from 2015-16 and 2016-17 will be used. Bonuses are to be paid in January 2017 and January 2018.

Teachers whose students earn approved industry certifications or credentials will win bonuses of $25 or $50 per student, depending on the value of the credential as determined by the state Department of Commerce. The bonuses are capped at $2,000 per teacher per year.

Rewarding advanced roles

The budget provides $1.1 million to create a three-year program for up to 10 local districts to experiment with paying supplements to teachers who take on advanced roles. Local boards of education have until Oct. 15 to submit their proposals to the State Board of Education.

Job responsibilities that would qualify teachers for the supplemental pay must include at least one of the following:

▪ Teaching an increased number of students and being accountable for their performance — the teacher of record.

▪  Becoming a lead classroom teacher among a group of teachers and being the teacher of record for all students taught by that group.

▪ Leading a school-wide effort to implement data-driven instructional techniques.

▪ Completing training that certifies the teacher as an in-house provider of professional development or functioning as an instructional content-area coach.

The budget says it is the legislature’s intent to appropriate $9.8 million for the project in 2017-18, the year it is to begin. McCrory and others have advocated for a “career ladder” for teachers.

FILE VIDEO: Two groups of teachers, parents and students from all over NC gathered both at Wakefield High School in north Raleigh, NC and in eastern Durham county Tuesday, June 14, 2016 to begin a two-day Students Deserve More overnight march to

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