ONLY ON 3: NC teacher pay raise not what it seems

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Submitted: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 3:05am
Updated: Thu, 08/02/2012 - 4:56pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina General Assembly recently approved a pay increase for teachers, but the raise many have waited years for may appear a little too good to be true.

When you compare pay schedules from last year to this coming year, it seems teachers are getting the raise they were promised, but when you look closer they aren’t getting the increase they thought.

We met up with NC State Superintendent June Atkinson Wednesday afternoon to hear what she had to say.

“Consequently the salary scale is off kilter,” Atkinson says.

Let’s look at a teacher with a Bachelor’s degree, who has worked 25 years going on 26. Under last year’s salary scale, the teacher expected an increase of $660, but with the new scale the teacher would only make an extra $550. That is a $110 difference. If the pay scale was not changed for the 2012-13 year, that teacher would be making more money.

Though it’s not what they expected, this is the first raise teachers have gotten in four years. Atkinson says it is unfortunate the increase is not more in favor of teachers.

“Some of our teachers even with the 1.2 percent salary increase will still face a slightly lower salary,” Atkinson said. “It certainly does affect morale. Again, North Carolina should celebrate its teachers and they deserve recognition both in salary and being respected in the community.”

Compared to last year’s pay scale a starting teacher’s salary is now $370 more but salaries for fifth year teachers have actually decreased by $70.


  • taxpayer says:

    any couny Board of Education table of organization and you will find a county superintendent and numerous assistant superintendants, and a slew of “directors” and “head of” positions.

    However, the biggest expense in any school system are labor costs…with a large portion going to the central office. Couple that with mandated class sizes…mo’ money-mo’ money.

    I agree…every year my children came home with a list of “stuff” each teacher needed.

  • Guest-s says:

    It has always been the responsibility to provide school supplies for their children. Money that comes to school, should be used to curriculum and technology, not to pay things just so parents can be irresponsible. That is part of the problem right there…

  • Guestwhat says:

    I just don’t understand what is happening to all the money. Maybe as the old saying goes there are more chiefs than indians.

    Look at the money they get. Money from the State, County and from the court. All the moeny collected for traffic fines and stuff goes to them.

    However, each year with all the money they get I am given a list for each of my kids telling me what I need to buy.

  • JayJay123 says:

    You should prob go back to math class. 660-550=110, not 90

  • anne says:

    Okay, I will admit I graduated 37 years ago and things have changed, but please, oh please, tell me that $660 – $550 still equals $110.00!!! Evidently the writer of this story either failed math or math has really changed!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Now for the story – sad commentary on how our teachers are paid. In the meantime, the ones that make the decisions are sitting in their pinstriped suits or dresses in their leather chairs and have NO clue as to what is going on!

    If you want quality, you have to pay for quality. Just ask the fool sitting in the CEO position at a bank making $30 million or more a year!!!!!!!!!! That is his stand on it anyway.

  • Guest-1 says:

    “Under last year’s salary scale, the teacher expected an increase of $660, but with the new scale the teacher would only make an extra $550. That is a $90 difference.”

    Time to go back to math class.

  • portcity rider says:

    As much as i would love to take credit for there comments.I can’t and i won’t.A duke fan hate duke with a passion if it was Carolina yes,if ii was going to use and animal for a user name it would be my dog.As for three usernames these comments aren’t that serious its not life or death.Its a good thing you aren’t in the justice system.

  • guesty says:

    So you claim you only use one name yet the lack of spacing is identical in posts under all 3 names. I’m good with that. I’m sure it is only a coincidence that all 3 of you guys skipped that part of English class in the second grade.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Before my husband lost his job he was making less a year than most teachers. Working at least as many hours a week, if not more and not nearly the number of days off, so no, I don’t feel bad about not contributing to the collective pot. He has a new job where he makes a little more on paper, but being in a higher tax bracket, being paid once a month instead of every other week, and the rising cost in insurance, his take home pay is about the same, so we take care of our own. We cannot afford more.

  • Charles Walters says:

    No it has not always been the responsibility for the school system to supply paper and pencils for students. Or did you mean the parents are responsible to buy supplies? I hope the latter is the one you meant. I buy my childs supplies for their needs and I resent like hell being asked to buy extra paper and pencils or whatever for the children of parents who would rather by cigarettes, alcohol, or other crap they do not need instead of buying what their children need for school. Many times it is the teachers who spend their own money on this stuff and they make little enough as it is. I know some parents are really having a hard time with money and those people I do not mind helping at all, but the ones who sit around on their lazy a$$es and do nothing do not deserve any help buying supplies.

  • guesty says:

    The lack of a space after punctuation use in your post is very telling. It is the same tell that 1981duke and tweety12 have.
    So you are now up to 3 user names?

  • portcity rider says:

    You no its not the childrens fault if the parents waste money or spend it unwisely.So if you don’t what to buy extra supplies for a classroom thats your right.Its a great thing everyone don’t think like you.The teachers do spend alot of there money on supplies,If you find a teacher that does that did you have a great teacher,because now you have a teacher that will give all there students chance.We should never punish a child for the sins of the parents.Just my opinion.

  • MWM says:

    What is an assistant? I agree with the comments below. She must be a teacher. Want to know where the black hole is? Fuel for buses (nearly $4 a gallon), free breakfast for students (when I was a kid we ate at home before going to school) How much does it cost to feed all the kids breakfast every day? Foam trays and plastic spoons at lunch (we had trays that were washed), internet service fees, salaries for the IT people to fix all the computers,new computers every 4-5 years, free textbooks for kids (we had to rent or buy them when I was in school)… These are all things the school system is now paying for that they didnt used to pay for. Parents used to pay for all that. That money has to come from somewhere! So before you start bashing teachers or the school system for draining you dry financially, consider how much you are saving now versus what you parents had to pay when you were in school.

  • B M says:

    there are a lot of people that have lost their jobs in the last 3 years, took pay cuts, lost their pensions and benefits just to be able to keep their jobs, so the teachers should be just glad to have kept a secure job over the last 3 years, with benefits and an assistant in the classroom, from the taxpayer standpoint we are more than funding education, maybe the teachers should look around and identify where that big black hole is all the money is disappearing and plug it, starting with Perdue.

  • CB says:

    While I am grateful to have a job, don’t get the idea that the pay package is anywhere commensurate with the level of responsibility or the hours involved. I entered teaching by choice, leaving a lucrative business career to do something I felt better reflected my values. I managed both professional and clerical staff as well as significant budgets and enterprise projects, but never in those years, did I ever feel the pressure I now experience on a daily basis. I don’t know where you get the idea that teachers all have assistants or that the benefits are so wonderful or inexpensive, I suggest you do a little research before you comment on a topic that you have obviously limited knowledge. And if you think this is such an easy job with such wonderful support, why don’t you do what I did…go back to college and accure some debt to get a job as a teacher.

  • T M says:

    Really, B M…..happy to have a job. These folks set the basis for your child’s future. I would say that being a parent is the most important job in the world, but as most teachers will tell you the parents are failing miserably. We should start firing parents. These teachers are spending more quality time with your child than you are, they should at the very least be compensated at a level that allows them some type of life. Not to mention many of these teachers pay for student’s lunches when parents either can’t or fail to provide lunch for their kid due to their neglect. Walk a mile in a teachers shoes before you start spouting off about something you have no idea about. Whether you like it or not they are the most influential people in your child’s life.

  • DT says:

    What’s an assistant? I haven’t had one of those for 5 years. (or a lunch break!)

  • Ron st81 says:

    Some teachers are burden by parents who don’t want their kids to read, write, or learn subjects like history, math, and science. To make matters worse principals ENCOURGE this practice and enforce this method. Most teachers lose their career when principals decide to enforce this method. To sum this up for you, a teacher’s job is never secure enough for teachers to have a good, steady income.

  • portcity rider says:

    What rock have you been under?Teachers,Policeman,firefighters have always been underpaid it has nothing to do with what you call lifetime recipients or illegals coming across the border.Lets add the low ranking military men and women into the underpaid.Taxes where here before you were born and they will be here when you and i pass on.

  • Charles Walters says:

    Government officals many times have money to begin with. Yet they get money and tons of other benefits for life, or at least a long time after they quit serving. I have to disagree on one point. Children who were brought here when they did not have a choice, and who have worked hard in school commited no crimes and have become good Americans should be able to stay as citizens. Now the ones who break the law and cause trouble should be sent packing.

  • Guest-s says:

    Exactly. I will be starting my 7th year, and am still getting paid what I made my 2nd year.

  • Steve says:

    It seems like there has been a lot of confusion lately about teacher salaries in our state. Unfortunately, this article doesn’t do a great job of clearing it up. So, I will. The reason for the confusion over teacher pay is that while teachers are getting a 1.2% increase, the salary scale (which pays on levels of experience) is frozen. For example, a year 8 teacher made 35,380 last year, and according to last year’s salary schedule, a year 9 teacher makes 36,670. But instead, with the salary schedule still frozen, the teacher does not see this experience-based increase, and the salary schedule adjusts to show that his year 8 salary is now the year 9 salary. The 1.2% increase applies to what he/she was making, resulting in a salary of 35,800, more than the teacher made last year, but less than teachers in their 9th year the previous year. This is what has happened the past four years with frozen salaries in North Carolina. It is also worth noting that with the salary schedule frozen since 2008, year 9 teacher (with the 1.2% raise) this school year is making a little over $2,000 less than a year 9 teacher four years ago.

  • Charles Walters says:

    Had a brain fart

  • Charles Walters says:

    By we, I mean parents and any other tax payers. We ask these people to educate our children, then we pay them as little as possible, and blame them when they do not have what they need to do the job. I know many teachers who spend their own money on supplies so the student at least have paper and pencils. There I said it again.

  • Guest08 says:

    No confusion on my part.I was agreeing with you…

  • Guest Reply says:

    You have to use (Hypotenuse/Cosign x Tangent). Then it comes to $90…or $15.20…I forget :-(

  • anne says:

    Have you noticed that many parents that complain about the cost of school supplies are the same ones whose kids are carrying cell phones and Ipods? Have you noticed those who have kids in high school are the ones complaining about the cost of school supplies yet their babies are driving to school and some of them in cars that cost more than the place I live in?

    Parents have a responsibility to supply items for their kids, but in by the same token, many teachers require more expensive school supplies. There needs to be a line drawn somewhere and yes I agree with some of the other posts that it doesn’t seem fair that I would have to supply stuff for the classroom for other kids whose parents don’t provide for them – but it is not the kids’ fault that the parent can’t or won’t get their supplies. And if I can spend a little extra to help out I will. With that being said, I don’t think we should have to provide paper towels or toilet paper (as some schools require). There is a budget for that and it needs to be used instead of wasted on high salaries for the big men and women making the stupid decisions. Also, the lottery is supposed to help that – but that was a big lie sold to the voters of this state.

  • Charles Walters says:

    We ask these men and women to educate our children and to get them ready for college and the world, yet they are paid so little many of them have to take a second job at night or on the weekends to make ends meet. The high cost of college and continuing education drives many teachers out of the classroom into the private sector. Damnit pay the teachers what they deserve for the education and knowledge they have. It is really sad actors and sports figures make millions, and teachers are treated like servants and paid as little as possible for teaching and caring for our children.

  • Guesttenheimer says:

    …our local, state and federal government would start getting the lifetime entitlement recipients and illegal aliens off the government payroll. But NOOOOOOOOOO, let’s don’t do that to the lazy, inept and illegal. Let’s penalize the children and elderly people of our society AND tax the daylights out of those that actually work for a living!

  • Guest08 says:

    say again C.W…………

  • Wilmington Observer says:

    For those interested, here are the Salary Schedules:

    For the 2011 / 2012 school year:

    For the 2012 / 2013 school year:

    It was surprising that these links were not provided by the reporter.

    Wilmington Observer

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