Advanced Degree Pay, Longevity Pay, and Local Supplements: What’s Really Happening Under Berger’s Watch

The way that NCGA leaders (primarily Sen. Phil Berger) have spun the narrative of advanced degree pay, longevity pay, and local supplements is more than disgraceful.

It’s flat-out egregious.

The GOP-led NC legislature decided in 2013 to end graduate degree pay bumps for new teachers entering the teaching profession. This is what Phil Berger said about those “pay bumps” this past week in his most recent interview with WFMY:

“Having an advanced degree does not make you a better teacher. We took the money we would have spent on masters pay and plugged it in to teacher raises.”

Add to that “investment” back into teacher salaries the fact that “longevity pay” was eliminated in 2013 as well under the guise of putting it into the actual salary scale for teachers.

From the summer session of 2013:

SECTION 9.1.(d) In lieu of providing annual longevity payments to teachers paid
on this salary schedule for the 2014-2015 fiscal year and subsequent fiscal years, the amounts of those longevity payments are built into this salary schedule.

So according to this, both advanced degree pay and longevity are still “there” for teachers except that it has been put back into the pool and re-disbursed into overall teacher salaries. Remember this from a few days ago?

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A pay raise financed a lot with the money that would have been used for advanced degree pay and longevity pay. No wonder the veteran teacher in North Carolina will become a more endangered “species” in the years to come.

It makes this table compiled by John deVille, NC public school activist and veteran teacher who has chronicled the various changes in educational policy for years. He tracked the recent teacher pay “increases” and used DATA-DRIVEN logic to show this.

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Now, add to the mix the issue of local supplements.

Well, a local supplement is an additional amount of money that a local district may apply on top the state’s salary to help attract teachers to come and stay in a particular district. While people may be fixated on actual state salary schedule, a local supplement has more of a direct effect on the way a district can attract and retain teachers, especially in this legislative climate.

But while Berger & Co. do not in any way finance local supplements, they more than gladly use the numbers to help bolster the average teacher salary in North Carolina for spinning purposes because that “average” is counting on local supplements. This comes in the face of budgets that are allocating less money to each central office of each school system for administrative costs. Now each county has to raise more money to actually offset those costs and also allow for local supplements. And not all localities provide the same supplements.

Plus, those LEA’s will have to do something in the next few years to raise even more money to meet the requirements of the delayed class size mandate, facilities, and other initiatives like the municipal charter school bill.

So, advanced degree pay was “reinvested.” Longevity was “put into your salary.” And local supplements which will be threatened because of state mandates are gladly used to help spin a narrative on average teacher salaries.

Hmm.

 

 

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