Teachers, state employees see raises in NC Senate budget

North Carolina General Assembly

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina Senate leaders announced their budget proposal on Tuesday, and raises for  teachers and state employees got plenty of attention.

The Senate’s proposal sets aside $95 million for merit-based state employee pay raises and then additional money for bonuses.

On average, it would be about a 2 percent raise.

For teachers, their salary would go from an average of $48,000 a year to more than $54,000 a year.

“It lays the groundwork for a bold plan for teachers to see their average pay surge to nearly $55,000 within two years for the first time in state history,” said Senate leader Phil Berger.

The budget meets the $22.225 billion spending level agreed to by the House and Senate, Berger’s office said.

“I like the teacher pay increases that are proposed in the budget as well as increases for state employees, but we have a lot to work on,” said Democratic Senator Floyd McKissick.

McKissick expressed concern about the portion of the proposed budget which would cut tuition at five universities to $1,000 a semester.

That topic has gotten some concern as a separate bill.

The Senate will work on its budget proposal this week. Berger’s office said the plan puts $583 million to the state’s rainy day fund. The budget also makes the first $17,500  a family earns exempt from income tax.

The budget also:

  • Provides a one-time bonus of $2,000 for school principals and $500 for assistant principals
  • Earmarks $95 million for permanent merit-based pay raises for state employes and another $85 million for one-time performance-based bonuses.
  • Includes $10 million for a pilot program to provide performance-based bonuses of up to $6,800 for third grade reading teachers.

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