September 13, 2019

Legislative Update

With a politically charged week almost behind us, there are some items to report to PENC members. Unexpectedly, Republicans called a vote in the early hours of September 11 that resulted in the override of the governor’s budget veto with a vote of 55-9. The event was, of course, politically charged, and the Senate still must override for the budget to become law. At the present time there has been no timeline provided for when the Senate might vote to override the Governor’s veto.  The Senate will need at least one Democrat vote, or 3/5ths of the members present.

Since it has been a couple of months that the budget has been reviewed, PENC believes it would be a good idea to remind you of what is in the state budget that affects public education:

1. Average pay increase of 3.5% for teachers

*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.

*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.

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 $150.00, for the current calendar year of the budget, to be spent on classroom supplies and $200.00 for each year after. Individual LEAs wills will 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.

*Regarding the Cooperative Innovative High School (including early college high schools), the funding was restored, and those programs will continue as before. The Senate plan had initially pulled the supplemental funding, but in the compromise, the program was spared.

2. As many educators found out in their August paychecks, your pay was frozen at last year’s step level. The passage of a budget will give you the correct step in years of service for pay. According to Session Law, it will also retroactively pay educators what they missed out on in August.

We will continue to keep you posted if there is any movement by the Senate to override the budget.

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.