July 1, 2019

Legislative Update

Budget Update

It is hopeful that PENC Members saw last week’s update expressing our disappointment with the teacher pay package that the NC General Assembly passed in the final version of the budget.

As we said in earlier updates, we were initially pleased with what we saw for teachers in the House budget.

Unfortunately, that plan did not prevail in the final negotiations. We were disappointed to see that the final budget was not as robust for educators as we had hoped.

Also, we remain disappointed with the meager 1 percent pay increase given to non-certified employees (teacher assistants, bus drivers, cafeteria staff, etc.), which treated them differently from other state employees.

There were some positive education provisions which PENC worked for on our Legislative Priorities list. We will discuss those below with the budget review.

As expected, the governor did veto the budget. However, the new wrinkle is that Republicans have a possibility of overriding the budget because of unexpected Democratic votes for the budget. The House fell a few votes short of the number needed to override, but it will be interesting to see if they can close the gap before the vote will occur. There is basically no time-limit to hold the override vote.

It is very possible that we could go well into the summer or even the fall before we have a resolution.

Final review of the budget:

57 percent of the state budget (or roughly $14.2 billion dollars) is allocated toward education.

Teachers in years 1 through 15 will see their scheduled “step” increase with the addition of a $1000 pay increase for each year. However, starting salaries will remain at $35,000.

Veteran teachers with 16-20 years of experience will receive a $500 raise for the 2019-2020 school year and another $500 raise for 2020-2021 calendar.

Those teachers with 21 to 24 years of service will receive $1,500 in the first year of the biennium and $500 in the second year.

Finally, teachers with 25 years of service will get a $600 raise in the first year of the budget and an additional $500 in the second year. In addition, bonus pay of $500 will be provided in October of each budget year for those teachers with 25 or more years of experience.

The Salary Schedule can be found on page 75 of the State Budget (see link). (pgs. 75-77)

Non-certified school employees are scheduled to see a 1 percent raise in each year of the 2-year budget.

Principal and Assistant Principal pay will increase 6.2 percent during the 2-year budget plan. In addition, monies are allocated for Principal bonuses based on school performance. There is also funding for Principal recruitment.

For retirees, the budget allocates a 0.5 percent cost of living adjustment.

The budget allocates funds to eligible teachers in the amount of $145.00, for each year of the budget, to be spent on classroom supplies. Individual LEAs will continue to receive an allocation for supplies as well.

The budget also provided language that makes permanent the 15-point scale for school performance grades, preventing the scale from dropping to the 10-point scale.

For K-12 capital improvement and construction, the budget provides 4.4 billion over the next decade for LEAs to address school repairs and target future building projects. Although PENC appreciates funds for capital improvements, we preferred the bond package which would have had a more immediate impact.

Other bills which passed and have been sent to the Governor

SB 219  An Act to Modify Teacher Licensure Requirements

This bill would offer additional flexibility for LEAs to address key shortages of teachers by offering limited provisional licensure paths.

HB 924  Teacher Contract Changes

This bill contains the language for the new Literacy and Personal Finance course requirements for high schools.

For information about specific issues, please contact lobbyist@pencweb.org.

For more information about the North Carolina General Assembly, click here.
To identify and contact your legislators, click here.