Friday, October 18, 2013

Teacher merit raises: $500 or $5,000?

I'm getting a lot of questions about a story in this morning's paper about the plan to offer four-year contracts to a limited number of teachers as tenure is phased out.

In the past, I've referred to it as a $500-a-year raise, which is the language in the budget bill.  T. Keung Hui,  my counterpart at the News & Observer and the lead writer on today's story,  called it a $5,000 raise.  People are understandably confused.

Hui used the four-year cumulative raise provided by $500 annual bumps.  The first year, a teacher who takes the four-year package will make $500 more than counterparts who don't get the raise.  The second year that teacher gets another $500 bump, so now she's $1,000 ahead of peers.  The third year she's up by $1,500 and the fourth by $2,000. If you add up the extra for those four years,  it comes to a total of $5,000.   The key is that the $500 specified in the law is a pay raise, not just a series of annual bonuses.


Wiley Coyote said...

We know what the $2,000 represents.

What is the "extra" $3,000 and where does it come from?

Shelly said...

Based on the information I have seen, 10,000 teachers will qualify. That means 10 per county. REALLY?

Anonymous said...

Shelly, it's 25% per county. The larger the county, the more who will qualify.

It's also important to note that only the first year has been funded. Years 2, 3 and 4 are dependent upon future legislatures funding it which may or may not happen. So a teacher who surrenders tenure for this "deal" may end up with $500 only.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, its how they are playing with the numbers.. They are calling it $5000, because this it the total extra amount they will have earned over the 4 years when comparing it what they make now. Personally, I agree with how Ann has been saying it. It is a $500 annual raise, especially, considering only the 1st year has been funded.
Ashley Holmes

Anonymous said...

The salary does not increase in $500 increments per year as you are suggesting. It is a flat $500 for each of the four years for a total of $2000. This is first hand information directly from a school administrator.

Anonymous said...

It laughable to think the republicants would be so magnanimous as to give teachers $5k to trick them out of a property right.

Anonymous said...

I read the bill 12:07. Over four years it's $5000. The legislators have called it a $5000 raise. (Though they've only funded it for the first year).

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher. Based on my reviews, I could fall into that 25% come year's end. If I do, I will turn this down because 1) SOLIDARITY and 2) I'm hoping NCAE's lawsuit will prevail.

Any teacher who signs away their tenure is taking a risk.

Anonymous said...

Teachers deserve a $5000.00 raise, a year, right now. I know some are not as good as others, but these should be weeded out as better teachers come aboard. I am embarrassed that teachers have not had a raise in five years. How does one think this method is the best way to keep the top 50% of teachers happy and not looking?

Anonymous said...

It's all a joke. The legislators are a joke. Their policies are a joke. Just a sad, sad joke. I'm actually thinking about not teaching next year...I never thought I would ever think that.

Anonymous said...

Even in a base case scenario, 5k over 4 years averages 1250 a year. The 5000 figure is a language trick by the anti-education legislature to make the public think it is significant. The fact that some counties will have a lottery shows how impossible it is to choose. How about choosing 1/4th of the state congressman to get a raise....?

Anonymous said...

The teachers that instructed my son while he was at Clear Creek Elementary School all deserve raises. They've done a great job. I hope they can get past the ridiculous incentive-pay schemes that seem more suited to car salesmen. Personally, I don't want money-motivated people teaching my son. I want people that appreciate stability and duty teaching my child.

Wiley Coyote said...

My base salary is $35,000.

Year 1 $500 I now make $35,500.
Year 2 $500 I now make $36,000.
Year 3 $500 I now make $36,500.
Year 4 $500 I now make $37,000.

Again, where is the other $3,000 dollars? I've only banked an additional $2,000 over 4 years.

Anonymous said...

Subtract that $35k base from each of those 4 years.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, over the course of 4 years, the teacher who takes the raise will actually have gotten $5K more THAN THE TEACHER WHO DIDN'T. In year 1 they get $500. Year two they get $1K more than the teacher without the raise. Year 3, $1,500 more than the teacher without, Year 5, $2K more. $2,000 + $1,500. + $1,000 + $500 = $5,000.
Again, it's playing with the language.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, I hope you don't teach math!

Anonymous said...

OK: $500 + $1,000 + $1,500 + $2,000 = $5,000 - it's it?

Shamash said...

500 +1000 +1500 +2000 = 5000.

But no one in their right mind would call that a 5000 raise.

Oh wait, we have a winner...

“Only in the warped world of education bureaucrats and union leaders could a permanent $5,000 pay raise for top-performing teachers be branded as a bad thing,” Amy Auth, a spokeswoman for state Senate leader Phil Berger, a Rockingham County Republican, said in a written statement.

Read more here:

Shamash said...

In the real world a $5000 permanent pay raise would mean AT LEAST $5000 a year from that time forward.

At least everywhere I have ever worked...

But, hey, that's probably just me.

Anonymous said...

"Based on the information I have seen, 10,000 teachers will qualify. That means 10 per county. REALLY?"

- No... There are 100 counties That means 100 per county will qualify

Shamash said...

Oh, I get it now.

It's those "business savvy" Republicans doing the calculations.

They're really talking about the Net Present Value of future cash flows given a zero percent inflation rate.

Yeah, that's the ticket...

Just plug in your annual discount rate and initial cash as zero, then put in those four big raises as your yearly returns and press


See, I should be a bureaucrat.

Or maybe President.

If nominated, I will not run.

If elected I will not serve.

Anonymous said...

"The salary does not increase in $500 increments per year as you are suggesting. It is a flat $500 for each of the four years for a total of $2000. This is first hand information directly from a school administrator."

- That is two different ways of describing the same thing...

Wiley Coyote said...

How much over 4 years is the teacher who is getting a $500 per year raise for 4 years putting in THEIR BANK over the course of that 4 years????

$2,000! The teachers who don't get the bump is immaterial.

In the end, you're only getting an additional $500 per year for 4 years.

Anonymous said...

"Teachers deserve a $5000.00 raise, a year"

- No they don't. They deserve a significant raise, but definitely not an annual bump of 5k every year they teach. Be reasonable.

Anonymous said...

Hold it! The real issue is not the amount - it is the strings attached to getting that money- and there are many! I say NO THANKS! Besides - it is unfair to thousands of other hard working teachers who will NOT get it. Stupid idea!

Anonymous said...

And if happen to be in the top 26%, but not the top 25%, then you're no better than the bottom 1%.

Anonymous said...

ABC Bonus ( NEVER PAID ) -1,500
Loss of Dental -1,000
Loss of Vision -100
Loss of 80/20 -2,000
Loss of Steps (3%) -1,000

Yearly Loss of $5,600
X 2.5% inflation
x 5 Years


The exodus will continue as we go forward with this pittance of a compensation offer from CMS and the State.


Anonymous said...

It's NOT a $5000 raise. The new proposal would be a total gain of $5000 over a period of four years compared to your salary if one did not accept the offer. It is gain, not a raise because it is cumulative. Using the word "raise" implies that one is making $5000/year more, which is not the case. Because no funding exists beyond year two, it is not a reality anyway. It's just talk.

Wiley Coyote said...

SECTION 9.6.(h)

Teachers employed by a local board of education on a four-year contract beginning with the 2014-2015 school year shall receive a five hundred dollar($500.00) annual pay raise for each year of the four-year contract.

Anonymous said...

Only the top 25% of each district will qualify for the raise. There are about 9200 teachers in CMS, so that means only about 2300 teachers will be eligible. Next, the raise only last for the length of your contract, so after 4 years you revert back to your original salary. Also, if you sign the 4 year contract, you forever give up the right to have career status...even if NC goes back to the current system because of lawsuits that may be in the works. What's worse is there is no standard of measure for special area teachers, as of now their score or rank is derived from overall school score. For example, I teach the first grade and we don't have an EOG so our value added score comes from scores of 5th grade students, so basically I'm not being assessed based on the growth of my students in my first grade class, but on that of another teachers class which does not represent the learning that goes on in my class. Furthermore, the new state mandated Reading 3D has no instructions in regards to test security, which means a teacher could low ball score their students at the beginning, so it looks like they grew a ton of levels. At this time no one is even sure of the criteria being used to identify the top 25% of each district?Bottom line is, the NC legislature has found a bs way to never give us a raise again! To top it off, they have not found a fair or equal way to measure teachers across grade levels or curriculum areas.

Wiley Coyote said...

I have a question that maybe someone can answer.

Right now, everyone is on a pay scale by number of years employed.

When this new contract hocus pocus takes effect, what do those teachers/employees do who opt not to try and get the $500/year raises?

If you're making $35,000 per year at the time this new contract plan goes into effect, are you stuck at that $35,000 salary forever or until the Legislature approves a percentage raise (COLA) that particular year for all employees? What about the County contributing outside of the Legislature?

By 2018 tenure will be gone and all teachers will be on one-, two- or four-year contracts, based on length of service and job evaluations.

What criteria determines salaries in 2018 for a one, two or four year contract?

Looking at the current pay scale, here's the difference from year to year, which isn't much more than $500 per year, except for some anomaly for years 8 - 12:

Bachelors Degree 2013-2014


To me, this is an exercise in futility and needs to be scrapped and start over...

Anonymous said...

Teachers who do not coach sports can reduce their 25% chance of qualifying for the option of a 4 year contract per county by every athletic director, coach, etc. in the county because they will surely be part of the 25% who receive the contracts if they choose.

No districts are going to risk losing their sports personnel or the disruption to their "sports programs" over a mere $500.00 a year before taxes.

We have already been informed that all coaching personnel/directors will be given enough points, or whatever metric, the county decides to use to make sure they qualify for a 4 year contract if sports personnel want to choose that option.

When this comes to pass, if ever, a teacher can request a hearing before the school board and/or the superintendent to discuss why you were not considered qualified for a 4 year contract and "raise", but they can deny your request without giving you a reason. End of story.

Because each county is allowed to determine their own qualifications for the honor of giving up tenure for $500.00 a year and since there is no way to force school boards to reveal their decisions on who is worthy and who is not, we'll never know how or on what basis the decisions were really made.

Ms. Campbell said...

We seem to be forgetting, too, that this only applies to teachers who already have tenure. So, excellent teachers with great reviews who do not yet have tenure will not be eligible for this raise. How's that for fair? (Plus, many of those untenured teachers started teaching after raises stopped, so they're still making basically base salary after teaching for as many as six years!)

Anonymous said...

"The teachers who don't get the bump are immaterial."
Based on this brilliant statement are........

Non Medal of Honor Winners military members immaterial?

Non Superintendents of the year immaterial?

Rank and file Tea Party members Immaterial?

Former Superintendents shilling bogus programs and breakable tablets to former CMS administrators immaterial?

Grandstanding politicians with No Viable Plan trying to raise campaign funds costing the US population $24 billion immaterial?

Blog hogs regurgitating the same material ad nauseum immaterial?

Your line may have been a throwaway but workers in all lines of work have and are being forced to "immaterial."

Thanks for the reminder.

Wiley Coyote said...


Perhaps a course in reading comprehension would help you.

That statement was made describing the difference in a suspect math equation to another poster regarding the proposed new $500 raise scheme and not a derogatory remark towards teachers.

Next time, read all of the threads and then try to understand the topic, what was said and why, because you failed miserably.

Anonymous said...

Of course, they're gonna protect "da coach".

Because they're what made American strong.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is arguing over whether it's $500, $2000 or $5000. Who cares?

Some teachers are better than others, and presumably many of them want better pay and recognition for their performance. The more interesting question is: will these teachers take more money and accept the label of a superior teacher?

Will this offer destroy the solidarity among teachers for pay and benefits? I'm sure many on this message board will say no, but I'm not so sure.

Anonymous said...

Teachers should resist this legislative effort to use a crummy and divisive raise structure to hold on to their broader contractual rights and professional principles.

McCrory, Pope, and the Republican legislators like bribery better than quality. Stick with the NCAE and the parents and voters will stick with you.