Looking At That Erroneous Claim That Cooper Left A “3.9% Pay Raise” For Teachers

A graphic was circulated often last fall on social media that portrayed Gov. Roy Cooper’s latest veto of an NC Senate bill concerning teacher raises in NC as a slap in the face of teachers.

And after today’s announcement from the NCGA that there would be no budget compromise, people like Phil Berger will try and spin the narrative that teachers left a “3.9% raise” on the table just to spite themselves.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The problem is that the graphic is a woeful misrepresentation of the actual “raises” that were to be given out under the Senate’s plan. In fact, Cooper was right in issuing a veto because those raises were surgically constructed to have a glossy exterior but an empty effect.

That particular veto concerned Senate Bill 354.

SB354 1

That bill would have put the following salary schedule in place for teachers.

SB354 2

It would have replaced this salary schedule.

schedule4

The problem is that there is not much of a difference. In fact, it would only affect teachers with 16+ years and even then, not much at all. Just look at the comparison.

SB354 3

What that translates to is a monthly increase of $50 for all teachers with 16-20 years of experience.

150$/month for teachers with 21-24 years of experience.

$60/month for teachers with 25+ years.

But look at it in this manner – Why? Because it is important to note that the number of veteran teachers in North Carolina has gone down in the last few years – especially when the current NCGA powers who are currently bragging about what SB354 was offering.

Kristin Beller, the president of the Wake County Association of Educators and a champion in public school advocacy, “ran” these numbers concerning the proposed raises in SB354 against the current numbers of teachers in the state (those numbers can be  found here).

true raise1

The first part concerns the numbers of teachers in the state broken down by experience.

beller1

Then she added numbers in the categories defined by SB354’s compensation ranges and showed the percentage of those groups as part of the entire teacher workforce.

beller2

Then she multiplied the number of teachers in each rung that would get a raise by the actual monthly raise defined by SB354 and then added those products together. That sum is the amount of overall money given to the raises.

beller3

Since the graphic at the beginning of the post “represents” the entire teaching profession getting an average “%3.9” raise, then it means that every teacher should have gotten something. Right?

Not so.

Furthermore, if you divide the sum of money to be used in the raises by the number of teachers in the state, you get… less than $33/month.

beller4

And yes, that bill had “raises” for the following year.

SB354 4

It does the exact same thing as the 2019-2020. Except it only adds $50 a month to each of the teachers in the 16+ year experience range.

That’s what Cooper vetoed.

His plan would have been much better for all teachers.