Media Praises Cooper For Proposing Virtually Same Pay Increase For Teachers As Republicans…

Excerpt From: News & Observer. Written By: Ann Doss Helms.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced Monday that his budget will call for 5 percent teacher raises on average this year and next – with a goal of raising pay to the national average in five years.

Cooper’s teacher pay plan would cost $813 million over two years without raising taxes, he said. During that time teachers would get average raises of 10 percent.

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Veteran teachers wouldn’t be left out, as they have been in recent pay hikes, the Democratic governor said. The details weren’t released Monday, but he said all teachers would get approximately 3 percent this year and many would get bigger bumps.

At a news conference at Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s Collinswood Language Academy, Cooper noted that parents entrust their children to teachers every day.

“It’s time to put our money where our trust is,” he said. “It’s time for a significant teacher pay plan.”

Details will come when Cooper releases his budget in the coming weeks. The state House and Senate will also introduce budgets. There’s widespread agreement that teachers need another raise to make up for the stagnation and losses during the recession, but political crossfire and conflict over specifics can be expected.

After Cooper’s announcement, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger released this statement: “After he opposed recent Republican budgets that increased average teacher pay by 15.5 percent, we are pleased Roy Cooper has finally joined legislative efforts to undo the damage of years of Democratic teacher furloughs and teacher pay freezes. We look forward to reviewing his complete budget proposal.”

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