The education news for North Carolina in the last weeks has fueled a variety of emotions for those involved. Our governor, Pat McCrory, is leading legislation which has, and will continue to make sweeping changes. In the latest proposal the Governor announced, those teachers who are new and with less than 5 years experience will receive as much as a 14% pay increase for the next two years to cummulatively bring their pay to the national average. There is no mention of the possibility of raises or even removing pay freezes for teachers with more than 5 years experience. The governor already lead legislation to phase out career status (tenure) and phase out pay for advanced degrees.
In light of theses changes if he would like to test the efficacy of his plan, I propose our Governor (and other legislators, as well) practice what he preaches. For Governor McCrory, he has 15 years experience as a politician. (His years as a councilman would not count since they would compare to student teaching which is unpaid and the probationary years of teaching.) He would not be entitled to a raise because of his tenure and future salary is in question. Just as the professionals over whom he is making decisions, he should accept no more than the $3304.17 per month that a teacher with his experience and educational level would receive. He would, of course, be paid for twelve months due to the nature of his work and to be fair the salary would be $3965 per month(~$2688 net after taxes, ins., etc) since his yearly salary would not be a 10 month one divided by 12 monthly installments. He would not receive any residual payments for housing. If he would like to leave his office for a conference or meeting, he would need to apply for the ability to go and reimbursement money for travel. He should keep in mind that no more than one conference per year is funded (if that) and that any other excursions will need to come from his own salary. He will also need to take personal days which deduct from his salary for time away from the office without approval. He often has evening events but just as extended conferences or working at sporting events are part of the job, they don’t earn compensatory or overtime. There are other details which could be practiced but one full year with the above mentioned stipulations should be sufficient to gather some evidence based data about salary compared to experience.
There have been many leaders who are willing to “walk a mile in the shoes” of others to be able to make better decisions. I hope the Governor and other legislators might consider my proposal to both assist in their decision making and save our great state even more money in the process.