Gov. McCrory announces plans to raise teacher pay

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Gov. McCrory announced Tuesday he planned to raise teacher pay in the state to increase the average salary to more than $50,000. If that happened, it would be the first time in the state’s history.

McCrory said paying teachers respectful wages has been something he has been dedicated to since he ran for office.

He announced the plan while on a visit to his high school alma mater in Jamestown.

“Two years ago, when I announced a significant teacher pay raise plan right here at Ragsdale, I promised that we would not stop there,” McCrory said.

However, the news is being met by skepticism from some teachers in the East. Uriah Ward, a Beaufort Co. teacher, said given previous actions by state lawmakers, he doesn’t know what is the truth.

“This proposal is positive in some ways, but we don’t have any indication at this point if any of it is actually going to go through,” he said.

He said the state’s decision to continue to cut back funding per student and eliminate Teacher Assistant positions has put educators in a tough place.

However, the governor’s office said the opposite has taken place. They said no teacher assistant positions were cut in the most recent budget, and per student spending has increased from $5,361 in 2012, to $5,638 in 2015.

The governor also announced plans to add rewards for veteran teachers, better recruitment efforts, expanding the opportunity for special needs students by funding scholarships, and modernizing classrooms.

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