Jamestown, N.C. – On a visit to his high school alma mater, Governor Pat McCrory announced his proposal to increase average teacher pay in North Carolina to more than $50,000 for the first time in state history by providing an average 5 percent pay increase. Governor McCrory revealed that his budget will build on the substantial investments the state has made in teachers since 2013 to recruit and retain the best and the brightest educators to prepare our students for a successful future. The governor was joined by high school teachers, students, principals, university chancellors and community college presidents at today’s announcement.
“Two years ago, when I announced a significant teacher pay raise plan right here at Ragsdale, I promised that we would not stop there,” said Governor McCrory.“Today, I am following through on that promise and introducing an aggressive education budget that will bring average teacher pay to more than $50,000 for the first time in state history.”
When considering robust health and retirement benefits offered to every full-time teacher in our state, the governor’s proposed teacher pay increase will bring average teacher compensation to more than $66,000.
Since 2013, under Governor McCrory’s leadership, North Carolina has committed over $1 billion more for teacher pay through his first term, thanks in part to the largest average teacher pay increase in the country. This includes both increased base pay for early career educators and advancing teachers more quickly along the pay scale.
In addition to teacher pay, Governor McCrory outlined several education priorities that will be addressed in his budget to ensure all students have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Respecting and rewarding our teachers
- Increases average teacher pay in North Carolina to more than $50,000 for the first time in state history by providing an average 5 percent pay increase.
- Provides an average 3.5 percent bonus for teachers and principals with a greater share going to veteran teachers. This will equate to a $5,000 bonus for our veteran teachers with more than 24 years of service.
Recruiting new teachers
- Establishes a scholarship program by investing $2 million to attract new, highly qualified math and science teachers.
- The program will support scholarships for 300 students to attend in-state universities, earn degrees in education and teach math and science in the state’s public schools.
- Builds on the more than $130 million we have committed to classroom connectivity positioning North Carolina as one of the first states in the nation to connect all classrooms to robust Wi-Fi by 2018.
- Provides $29 million to empower schools to trade textbooks for tablets so students can learn anytime, anywhere using the latest information available.
Expanding opportunity for special needs students
- Expands funding by more than $5 million for education scholarships for students with disabilities, allowing parents to choose the best education setting for their children. Parents can choose to use scholarship funding for private school tuition, therapy, necessary adaptive educational equipment and resources.
- Currently, North Carolina has far too many special needs children on a waitlist to receive this extra help. The governor’s budget will increase funding to serve more than 300 additional students.
Boosting community college graduation
- Invests $26 million in proven student success strategies at our 58 community colleges so more students graduate with a certificate or degree.
- Upgrades equipment at our community colleges needed to train students with the skills needed to succeed in today’s workforce.
Expanding college access
- Allocates $25 million to support the implementation of the Connect NC initiative, which will provide $980 million for state-of-the-art science, technology, engineering and math facilities on public university campuses across the state.
- North Carolina spends a greater percentage of tax revenues on higher education than any other state. We will further expand access to an affordable university education by supporting the opportunity for an additional 3,100 students to attend our universities at an average state tuition subsidy of more than $10,000 annually.
- Invests $5 million to establish a new competitive merit scholarship program for students pursuing science, math, engineering and health degrees at our universities to help fill the shortage of skilled workers in these fields.
Governor McCrory will release more details of his teacher pay plan and education investments when he unveils his budget proposal later this month.