Teacher Salary Increases: Are You Getting More Money?
After the Biennial Budget was passed and Gov. Roy Cooper signed it, many K-12 and community college educators are wondering how much money they will make from the Republican-Democrat compromise on the spending plan biennial. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know.
Kindergarten to Grade 12 salary increases
The budget compromise includes an average salary increase of 5% for teachers over two years, $ 2,800 in bonuses for teachers and $ 100 million for supplements to local teachers to help close the gap between districts with a heavy property tax base and those who don’t.
Here’s how it breaks down:
All K-12 teachers receive an overall salary increase of 1.3% over the two years of the biennium. So over two years, that equates to a 2.6% pay rise. That leaves 2.4%, which is the average increase when you factor in step increases.
Step increases are the salary increases incorporated into a teacher’s career through the teacher pay scale. Taking into account all step increases for all teachers, this averages out to an overall salary increase of around 2.4%. Add that to the general pay increases of 2.6% for teachers over two years, and you get an average salary increase of 5%.
Of course, not all teachers get that 2.4% average salary increase. Here is the new teacher salary scale for 2021-2022 as part of the budget agreement:
And here it is for 2022-23:
As you can see, there are pay increments every year for teachers until they reach 15th grade. At this stage, they do not obtain a step increase until the 25th year. And after that, no more rungs increase.
Thus, teachers in the 14th to 25th year benefit from an overall salary increase of 2.6%. Others get this 2.6% plus the regularly scheduled increment.
Of course, teachers are not the only educators in the school building.
Principals receive an overall salary increase of 2.5% over the two years of the biennium, for a total increase of 5%.
The salaries of assistant directors are linked to the teachers’ salary scale. They receive a monthly salary equal to that of a teacher with similar years of experience plus 19%. Thus, the remuneration of vice-principals will increase in accordance with this formula taking into account increases in the remuneration of teachers.
The minimum wage for uncertified school employees, such as bus drivers and cafeteria workers, is increased to $ 13 an hour in the first year of the biennium and $ 15 an hour in the second year.
Teachers and principals will also receive bonuses of varying amounts and for various reasons.
First, any government employee who earns less than $ 75,000 per year receives a bonus of $ 1,500 and any government employee who earns more than that receives a bonus of $ 1,000. Thus, teachers are expected to receive a bonus of $ 1,500 under this plan and most principals will receive a bonus of $ 1,000.
In addition, teachers on their own receive another $ 1,000 bonus, as well as an additional $ 300 which is money reallocated for merit-based bonuses that cannot be awarded this year due to a lack of valid liability data thanks to the COVID-19 disruptions.
Non-certified education staff will get the $ 1,500 bonus for state employees.
Community college salary increases
One of the budgetary priorities of the community college system for some time has been to secure salary increases for community college faculty and staff. The budget provides funding for a 2.5% salary increase over the two years of the biennium, for a total increase of 5% over two years.
There are also funds to increase the minimum wage for any publicly funded employee to $ 13 an hour in the first year and $ 15 an hour in the second year of the biennium. Of course, any community college staff member who earns less than $ 75,000 will receive that $ 1,500 bonus, and any member who earns more will receive $ 1,000.
State funded teacher supplement
One of the ways most affected by teachers is the $ 100 million in funds to help local districts complete the way they pay their teachers. Teachers in North Carolina are largely paid in two ways: by the state and by their district. The state sets a kind of floor for teachers. No matter how much money a district has, the state guarantees a certain amount of money for its teachers. However, due to the composition of the property tax bases in the different counties, some districts are able to supplement their teachers’ salaries using local tax money. With this budget, the state sends additional money to most districts for teacher supplements.
Here is a list of all the districts in the state and how much money they will get for the state’s teacher supplements. You can also see it below.
A few districts – Wake, Durham, Buncombe, Mecklenburg and Guilford – will not receive any money under the plan. These districts are already able to offer supplements. All except Guilford can offer over $ 7,000 in extra pay, while Guilford is able to offer close to $ 5,000.
Staff at Pro Tempore Senate Speaker Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, compared these to the per-teacher supplements the following districts are able to offer:
- Alleghany: $ 500
- Ashe: $ 600
- Caswell: $ 0
- Clay: $ 24
- Graham: $ 0
Under the new state-funded supplement plan, these districts will receive the following amount of money per teacher to top up the salary:
- Alleghany: $ 3,345
- Ashe: $ 1,672
- Caswell: $ 3,591
- Clay: $ 2,870
- Graham: $ 4,250
And it’s just using state money. Look at the table above to see how much of a supplement teachers can receive from the county.
This is an ongoing program designed to make poorer counties more competitive with their better-off neighbors. The formula for distributing the money is as follows: 65% of the formula is based on the county tax base, 25% on the county’s median household income, and 10% on the county’s effective tax rate.