Gov. Pat McCrory unveiled a plan to revamp North Carolina's teacher pay scale to predictably mixed reviews Wednesday. Click here to see the material that was handed out at the announcement at N.C. A&T and here for McCrory's press release.
|McCrory with budget director Art Pope (left) and education adviser Eric Guckian|
I'm eager to hear what you all think of it. Here's a sampling of early reactions from around the state.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Superintendent Heath Morrison, the first speaker after McCrory to tout the plan, emailed CMS employees Wednesday afternoon voicing support: "I am encouraged about many components of this framework. It allows for more local control in the development of a teacher compensation model and seeks to restore salary supplements for teachers who earn advanced degrees in the subjects they teach. It also builds on the work we have started at CMS to create a comprehensive teacher compensation model and provide additional professional growth and pay opportunities for our valued teachers. ... It is clear that there are a lot of details about the governor’s proposal that need to be developed. This proposal is a solid step toward our goal of compensating teachers better but more work will be required."
BEST NC, the coalition of business leaders recently created to advocate for public education, offered support while acknowledging that important cost questions remain to be answered. “We finally have a professional compensation plan that allows our most effective teachers to take on leadership roles in their schools and impact more students, without leaving the classroom,” said Venessa Harrison, president of AT&T North Carolina and BEST NC Board member, who spoke at the announcement. Read the full statement here.
State Superintendent June Atkinson, a Democrat, voiced support at the announcement. But the state Democratic party sent out critical statements from the House and Senate Democratic caucuses.
From Sen. Dan Blue, D-Wake: "The Governor clearly recognizes the need to undo some of the damage that his administration did to education last year. Unfortunately, Governor McCrory and Thom Tillis put teachers in tough spot by cutting an additional half billion dollars from education last year in order to give massive handouts to the wealthy and special interests. It’s time to see action – and not just to relieve some of the hardships teachers have borne thanks to the governor – but a real plan to raise teacher pay to the national average and ensure our students have the best schools in the country.”
And from Rep. Larry Hall, D-Durham: "Governor McCrory's plan may make for good political talking points, but it simply does not do enough to begin addressing the teacher pay crisis in North Carolina. ... (The plan) does not provide a dedicated plan to raise teacher pay to the national average. All Governor McCrory provided today is an unfunded plan that continues to sell North Carolina educators and students short. ... Our students and teachers deserve more than election year rhetoric and short-term band-aids."
CarolinaCAN, which had worked with the McCrory team and posted a plan that included many of the same elements as his proposal, offered support: "This is the first time we've seen a comprehensive proposal that addresses both low base salaries and the state's outdated salary schedule," said Executive Director Julie Kowal. Read the statement and get a link to the group's proposal here.
N.C. Chamber President Lew Ebert called McCrory's plan a step in the right direction: "For many years, the NC Chamber has worked to advance education priorities to position North Carolina as the leading state in talent development. As such, we have previously supported Governor McCrory’s push to raise teacher pay to the national average. ... Legislative leaders have also developed innovative ways to compensate our best teachers and we support this approach to make teaching an attractive career path for young people in North Carolina. We commend them for their efforts and hope this sort of innovative education reform will continue."
And Progress NC's Gerrick Brenner panned the plan as an election-year gimmick lacking details on how to pay for raises: "Because of radical tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, the state already faces a $445M shortfall. McCrory's new teacher pay plan could add another $100M in expenses, on top of his $200M plan for better pay for new teachers, and $45M for better pay for state employees. McCrory's shortfall could add up to an eye-popping $790M. In his short tenure as Governor, McCrory already has a track record of offering up promises which don't pan out.
Governor McCrory's 2013 budget proposal included a 1% raise for teachers, but that never happened."