by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
The governor’s $8.1 billion K-12 education budget touches on the three Ts – teachers, textbooks, and talent.
First, the governor’s budget would provide a much-needed increase in textbook funding. There has been near universal agreement that school districts require more funding for this basic need.
In addition, teachers would receive salary increases ranging from 2.0 to 7.1 percent, depending on experience level. Early career school psychologists, principals, assistant principals, and school-based personnel would receive a $1,000 salary and benefit bonus under this plan.
Not only does Governor McCrory want to pay teachers more, he wants to pay them smarter. The Career Pathways pilot program provides a critical first step. Career Pathways is a system of teacher compensation that would reward North Carolina’s most talented and hardworking teachers. This is the state’s first teacher compensation plan designed by professionals, for professionals.
McCrory’s teacher compensation proposal already has the support of Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson, district superintendents, elected officials, and teachers throughout North Carolina.
While not perfect, Governor McCrory’s K-12 education budget hit the target. It addresses the core needs of our public schools in a thoughtful and responsible way. House and Senate leadership would be wise to not dismiss the governor’s budget out of hand.
Obviously, the governor’s political opponents have an insatiable appetite for taxpayers’ money and will not be satisfied with the education budget. Opponents of the governor’s plan are a small, but vocal, group of well-funded advocacy organizations and unions that do not represent the majority of North Carolinians. And contrary to what you hear from the Left, Republicans have not turned governing into an episode of Game of Thrones.