CMS to General Assembly: approve teacher raises, let us create our own teacher compensation plans


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The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education sent a strong message to the General Assembly this week: approve teacher raises in the short session, reinstate the advanced-degree salary supplements, and let us create our own teacher compensation plans. The latter addresses a new law that requires districts offer four-year contracts to 25 percent of eligible teachers.

"This resolution sends a respectful and clear message to our legislators about the needs of CMS and other districts, while allowing us to continue our collaborative dialogue with our lawmakers," said board chairwoman Mary T. McCray. "It also emphasizes the importance of making sure our teachers know that their work is highly valued." The board passed the resolution Tuesday. From a statement CMS released the same day:

The resolution asks the legislature to provide sufficient salary increases to raise starting teacher pay and make the state more competitive in teacher recruitment and retention. The one-year delay, and the money set aside to provide $500 annual increases to teachers who sign a four-year contract, should be used to allow districts to develop their own compensation structures, the resolution notes. Boards of education should "ensure that the plan includes, but is not necessarily limited to, performance evaluations, teacher compensation, career development and career progression."

Teacher pay in N.C. is embarrassing. We rank 46th in the U.S. and offer lower rates than our neighboring states, some of which have even taken to airing commercials here to lure our educators. Needless to say, the General Assembly would be remiss to ignore CMS' request.