Politics in Education - trying selective pay once again

North Carolina is again discussing the idea of using higher pay to attract good teachers. Since Math and Science teachers are such a hot item the legislature is considering increasing pay for these teachers in three school districts by $15,000 per year.

Three years ago in 2001 the state's experiment of offering an extra $1,800 a year to math, science and special education teachers at high-poverty schools or those where student performance lagged ended in disappointment. The N.C. Association of Educators says "differential pay kills teacher morale". Representative Ray Rapp, a Mars Hill Democrat who will help assemble the state education budget, doesn't think it is right to build a pay scale based on teacher specialty, when a school's English teacher may be working just as hard as the math teacher. "It has the potential to create a situation that is terribly demoralizing and destabilizing."

Read the article...

News and Observers
March 19, 2007
Lynn Bonner, Ataff Writer

More pay weighed for some teachers
Lawmakers are talking about raises for math and science instructors, or those at high-poverty schools

Math and science teachers are such hot commodities these days, legislators are considering offering them extra pay to fill North Carolina's classrooms.

The state has a spotty history with offering extra money to teachers-in-demand, but influential supporters want to try again.

Senate leader Marc Basnight has been talking about extra pay for science and math teachers for months. He made a big pitch for the idea in a speech to his colleagues launching the legislative session. Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger likes the idea, too, though he would make special education teachers eligible for higher salaries along with science and math teachers.

"To attract people into these fields, we need to offer more pay," said Berger, a Republican from Eden. Read more...

Comments

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This is an important question and I hope we can talk about it. I personally have many mixed opinions on the subject. Without having thought it all through, my instinct is that higher pay across the board - regardless of subject - should be the first priority.

I'd like teaching to be a job so sought after that we have far more qualified applicants than openings.

ditto

want to know the state of education in this state? I have a friend who left the teaching fellows program because it made more financial sense for her to pay back 2 years of tuition the state had already paid for than to have to teach for the amount needed.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

My thoughts on good teachers leaving teaching jobs...

Interesting comment about leaving teaching...

I have a son and daughter-in-law (they are married) that were both great teachers in the North Carolina school system. She was a top rated art teacher in wake County. He was teacher of the year at the school where he taught fourth grade and was even given a scholarship to become a principle. He left teaching because the two of them could not have the lifestyle they wanted even with two teacher's incomes. He's now a contract systems support employee with IBM and making a substantially higher salary. She is now a Mom raising their two kids (actually both of them are raising their kids :) ) and has started a job as a licensed NC Real Estate Broker. Both regretted leaving teaching but at least they can have a good life style now, at least better than when they were both teachers.

This doesn't mean teachers don't have a good life style and a good life - they do. But because NC teaching pay is so low (read that less than competitive) it's difficult to get good folks to go into teaching AND difficult to keep them in those jobs once there!

JP

My best teacher

in High school was a science teacher. She taught for a couple of years, looked at her pay checks and left. She spent a good deal of time working as a chemist, had two kids, got a house, a car etc. She then left her job and went back to teaching.

However, how many do what she did and come back to teaching? 1%? less?

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Low pay all around

I agree with Anglico on this one. Higher pay across the board; make teaching a profession that people want to stay in and can afford to stay in.

Teachers in public schools are not paid any where close to what they're worth, or for the time that they put in. The teachers who work with children who have not yet entered kindergarten are paid even less.

Our priorities are seriously screwed up.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi