The NCGOP House members just recently dropped its latest version of a budget proposal.
Do not get the dates confused. The original “bill” was started on Feb. 18th, 2021. This last version includes supplementary info strategically released on August 9th.
Late in the afternoon no less.
There is an interesting part of this proposed budget on page 174.
It restores graduate degree pay for teachers.
The G.S. 115C-302.10 that is being repealed in this proposal is something that went into effect in 2014. It stated specifically:
What they are now offering is restoring graduate degree pay increases for teachers who were not grandfathered into the original graduate degree pay scale. And it sounds like a great thing to do. It has been an issue for teachers in this state for years.
But there is some context to be looked at here. As the economy has started recovering and job growth hitting a quick stride, the state has a tremendous teacher/support staff shortage.
As of yesterday, TeachNC has over 10,000 openings in schools for employment. This next school year is about to start for most traditional schools in a matter of days.
If the NCGOP thought this was an important form of salary supplement to attract and keep teachers, then why was it ever taken away in the first place?
What happens to all of those teachers who actually entered the teaching ranks after the 2014 statute who never were paid for their graduate degrees?
And what about all of those teachers who never pursued graduate degrees between 2014 and 2021 because they thought it would not help their income?
What this proposal should include is any back pay for those who never received the supplement if they earned their graduate degree after 2014. It should also be a stand alone bill as it is placed within a larger bill that uses this “incentive” as bait to help these same budget writers push more tax cuts for the wealthy and for large corporations.
Then maybe an explanation as to why in 2021 this is being proposed when it was taken away by the same powers-that-be in 2014.
But many of us have an idea as to why.