Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tarte's raise announcement based on 'scuttlebutt'

An electronic update emailed by N.C. Sen. Jeff Tarte's office Monday contained startling news: "The Senate, House and Governor have all put forward plans to address teacher pay.  The conference committee negotiating differences in the plans has agreed upon 8% pay raises."

Reporters in Charlotte and Raleigh weren't the only ones caught by surprise.


"That is news to me,"  said Sen. Tommy Tucker, R-Waxhaw.  Unlike Tarte,  a Cornelius Republican,  Tucker is a member of the conference committee trying to reconcile the Senate and House budgets.

Tucker said lawmakers remain  "all over the board"  on teacher pay plans,  with average estimated raises ranging from 2 percent in the governor's plan to 11 percent in the Senate's.  He said there have been no developments since last week's agreement on Medicaid spending.

The Senate, House and governor's budgets all call for significant teacher raises,  though none proposes a flat percentage.  The conference committee is still working through plans to revamp the pay scale.  Major differences remain on how to award and pay for raises.

Senate leader Phil Berger's office said the same thing:  "We are not aware of any budget deal on teacher pay."

So what inspired Tarte,  a first-term senator who serves on the Senate education committee,  to announce an agreement?  "That's just the scuttlebutt in the hallways,"  he said,  adding that indications are that 5 percent to 8 percent will be  "the baseline to start from."  The raise item,  tucked in the middle of his legislative update,  "got everybody reading anyway," he said.

Meanwhile,  Garinger High School teacher James Ford,  who is North Carolina's teacher of the year,  plans a trip to Raleigh today to distribute a letter to lawmakers and the governor urging them to find a compromise on teacher raises.
Ford (CMS image)
He said he isn't taking a stand on which plan he prefers.  Instead,  Ford says he'll emphasize the common ground they already have:  "I'm glad they recognize the importance of attracting and retaining quality teachers.  It's something that has to be done.  There's so much in the balance."


Unknown said...


It is clear from state teacher pay raise history extending back to 1973 that an 8% raise is not unusual. Raises have been as high as 14% in the inflation-mad world following the Jimmy Carter years and the oil crisis.

From Where is all that money coming?

I'm not going to get too excited until the smoke has cleared. Sort of expect the biggest hit to be a temporary reduction in retirement contributions. It's the only logical place.

Bolyn McClung

It is a serious question.

Anonymous said...

Tarte is a very dim bulb.

Anonymous said...

EVEN and 11% raise will not get teachers back to the economic purchasing power they had 6 years ago.

Add in the loss of :

80/20 Health Benefits to 70/30
Loss of Dental
Loss of Vision
Loss of ABC Bonus Money NEVER PAID
LOSS of Pension From Salary Freeze

The run, not walking away of the "Best and Brightest" will continue.

Wiley Coyote said...

First rule in sales is don't pat yourself on the back or announce your sales achievement until you have the order in hand.

Any talk about teacher raises is just that - talk, no matter who it is coming from.

Anonymous said...

Tarte cannot be trusted. His own caucus cannot trust him to not spill the beans. They are growing tired of this pattern.

Just like when he was mayor of Cornelius, he said one thing and did another.

Lake Norman needs a better rep.

Anonymous said...

I hope they come through with a raise and a plan moving forward. Every state in the union has a teacher pay plan.

Anonymous said...

Senator Scuttlebutt is gonna save us from the tolls or maybe he thinks they are great.

Depends who he is talking to.