- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina’s largest teacher group is unhappy with Gov. Pat McCrory’s budget because it didn’t contain raises for the longest-serving public school instructors.

The North Carolina Association of Education estimated Thursday nearly 1,500 teachers and instructional personnel with at least 37 years’ experience would get no increase under last week’s proposal.

Other teachers would get raises, ranging from 5.7 to 7.1 percent for early-career teachers with up to seven years’ experience next year. There would be raises of 2.8 percent to 4.3 percent for teachers with eight to 12 years’ experience and roughly 1.9 to 2.1 percent for teachers with 13 to 36 years.

“For them to get absolutely nothing … is a very plain signal that Gov. McCrory puts the most experienced teachers at the bottom of his priority list,” NCAE President Rodney Ellis said in a news release.

McCrory education adviser Eric Guckian said in response that the budget funds the salary schedule in its current form, which keeps the longest serving teachers at the same base salaries. With longevity pay, the teachers with 36 or more years of experience earn $55,573 annually, not including any premium for earning advanced degrees or local supplemental pay, the governor’s office said.

McCrory has proposed a pay schedule overhaul that would attempt to front-load salary increases and give veteran teachers more opportunity to receive performance- and leadership-based raises.

“We value our veteran educators and the experience and wisdom that they bring to the students they teach,” Guckian said in a release. “We’re committed to ensuring that all teachers will have the opportunity to earn significantly more for the important work they do for our students.”

NCAE urged the state Senate to go beyond the governor’s proposal and give all teachers “a meaningful raise” in its budget. Teachers and state employees have received one raise since 2008.

The Senate wants to roll out its budget proposal as early as next week, said Sen. Neal Hunt, R-Wake, co-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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