A grim future for teachers of NC

Discussion in 'General Education' started by lucybelle, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Not that we didn't already know it. :unsure:

    [​IMG]

    And of course we remember there's no longer a salary increase for having a master's or NB certification.
     
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  3. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I know cost of living is different and everything but it's amazing that a teacher in my district with a master's makes more in his or first year than a teacher in NC with 31 years experience. It's not right. :-(
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Wowza...31 steps topping off at 52 K....that better be some low cost of living in NC. My district has 16 steps and tops off at over $100K with Masters plus 60.
     
  5. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    52K was the previous years. It now tops off at 49k.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Stinks.
     
  7. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Cost of living is less here, in my opinion. I'll be the first to admit that. But it's not cheap enough to allow a single teacher to survive on a teacher's salary very comfortably, especially if you're on of the unlucky ones (like me) who have found themselves "stuck" in either the 0-2 or 3-5 years experience brackets.

    I'll put it all out there: I started in 2008, so I anticipated making roughly 36,000 by my 6th year. Instead, I'm earning $5,400 less than that, due to the step shuffling. That money adds up, year after year. I can't afford a car payment, let alone a home at this point in my career. A family on my salary boggles my mind. I just can't see it happening.

    Lucy, do you have any ties to NC, or are you just trying to show us some support? I'm not a native here. Until recently I've been able to shrug off the lack of a livable raise increase. But lately it feels like it's gone on too long. IF...and the if is huge...my home state has a strong union...if I could land a job in my home state, and earn my years of experience, I would earn $22,067 more per year. There's something seriously wrong with that :(

    I just feel stuck! Without a union, due process (i.e.. tenure) was my only protection from being let go at whim. Now, without that protection, and the end of Master's pay, I don't see myself staying here much longer.

    According to this article, 18% of teachers in NC are stuck at the bottom of the pay scale, making many teachers with families eligible for Medicaid. It is very sad that teachers with a 4- or 6-year degree would find themselves in this situation. The article also claims that 4,000 teachers with 0-3 years experience have left the state in the last 5 years. What is this showing the next generation of teachers? I fear there's going to be a mass exodus and I'd hate to be one of them, but I'm nearing the end of my rope.

    http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20130728/NEWS/307280069/Teacher-pay-You-don-t-want-
     
  8. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    I think schools would be better off if they cut in other ways (even in technology, such as not having ipads and such in every room though I know not all schools have that) and RAISED teacher salaries. This would entice the good teachers to continue to teach
     
  9. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Wow, that's a really low salary for the top paid. That part bothers me more than the $30,800 to start with. If someone has just graduated from college, that's not a horrible starting salary. But it should increase faster and certainly not end at $49K. That part totally stinks.
     
  10. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    I'm also in NC. Yes the future does seem pretty grim. I'm single and so far I have managed to get by. I also returned to grad school so I can supplement with a refund check and the added pay for a Masters Degree. I have truly considered relocating once I have finished grad school. I truly enjoy teaching and working with children, but I would also like to receive higher pay for the hard work I put in throughout the year.
     
  11. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    This topic makes me curious... which state generally pays their teachers the most?
     
  12. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Here in Ohio it varies widely from district to district. In '08 I had two job offers with my Masters. One was for a starting salary of 29K by the river. The other was closer to 35K in Central Ohio.
     
  13. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Interesting Zelda...
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    NJ varies by district.
     
  15. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Wow, Christian schools and Catholic schools in Phoenix, AZ have higher salaries. Wow, NC your salaries are really low. How are they still able to get teachers?
     
  16. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I hope you'll be finished in time! Isn't the cutoff April 2013?
     
  17. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Born and raised in NC, went to college in NC and taught a year there before moving down here to CR. When we move back to the USA it will be back to NC. (there is a small possibility that my esposo will get a job in PA, but we'll go to NC first for sure) It's so depressing to see my state going down the drain, and not just for teacher salary cuts.
     
  18. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apparently NJ has the highest starting salary according to the National Education Association.
     
  19. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    My local district starts off at $49,800. I know it's So. CA but still that's got to be a lot more than what you guys are getting paid with cost of living adjusted. We have a strong union though so that helps. I hope people realize soon that although unions do some bad things, for the most part they really are needed.
     
  20. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Compared to Michigan, the cost of living is high. My 1 bedroom apartment was $800 a month. The cheapest apartments, which are not exactly 'safe', were around $600 for a 1 bedroom. (Compare to my $355 rent when I left Michigan in 2007.)
    Groceries are higher than NC. Vehicle tax is higher in NC.
    With both jobs, I was making around $42-44K per year. I was going farther into debt every day. As soon as I sell my house, I will likely buy one here. I would be able to easily make it on $32K here. Less actually. When I lived in my apartment on my own with a brand new car, I made $22K.
     
  21. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Michigan has one of the highest standard of livings for teachers. Very few states can match Michigan for housing and teacher salaries. I would move there if I could retain my seniority.
     
  22. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Good point Pisces Fish... No I wont be finished in April '13. NC will continue to get teachers because of so many people who come for college and stay, are born and raised here... Now will we all stay is another question all together.

    I look forward to reaching and applying for other states and districts in 2 years or so... think I will go to a state with a Union for sure.
     
  23. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I know that. The public schools also have better teaching conditions than a lot of places due to the strong unions. However, I wouldn't recommend anyone move here since there are thousands of applicants per position and lay-offs happen regularly. It takes a lot of work to get and retain a job, but it definitely doesn't suck if you can make it.
     
  24. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Agreed. The economy scares me to death. That's why I would not take a job there in teaching without maintaining seniority, which of course can't happen.

    Absolutely beautiful state, great people, great schools, great universities, amazing outdoors....just a great state.
     
  25. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Agreed again :thumb:
     
  26. RedStripey

    RedStripey Comrade

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    I believe it. Not sure if it's 100 percent true but I know if I were to get a teaching job in NJ, I would make in my first year what a teacher in NC makes in 24 years :eek: It's why my mom wants me to try for a job in NJ first before I try in other states.
     
  27. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I love NC and so does my esposo. I'm from "The Triangle" area which is beautiful and really taking off in a lot of ways. As long as my esposo can maintain a decent job, we'll probably stay in NC. But, many of my teacher friends with whom I graduated have already left NC or are planning to in the next year or so.
     
  28. hollydoris

    hollydoris Rookie

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    Wow, I'm in MN and I can't give you an exact starting salary (because it varies based on the district and the area you live in--rural areas are probably around 34 to 36 and the metropolitan area (where I live) is more like 38-41 depending on urban or suburban) but I can't imagine not getting any raises for FIVE years--that is absurd!!
     
  29. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    This is sad and disrespectful! How do you expect to retain teachers with a horrible salary scale like that?!
     
  30. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Can someone from NC explain how on earth this has happened?? It's just unreal to me. So education, NBC, experience - none of that matters to the powers that be in NC.

    What REALLY gets me about NC is that you have a statewide salary scale. I believe that is true in WA as well. I live in a huge state, so maybe that's why I REALLY don't get it, but it just baffles my mind. I'm making $45,500 as a second year teacher. Now, granted, my one bedroom apartment is $1600 a month, so I could never afford it without my husband's income. I would have to move to a cheaper (and not as nice) area if I were single, and I would certainly never be able to afford a house on a teacher's salary. HOWEVER, we are planning to move to a different area of the same state where I would be making roughly the same salary and the cost of living is much much MUCH lower. I have that option. That's what gets me about NC - you're not even fairly compensated for the cost of living in your area!
     
  31. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    It is actually 6 years with no raise. Well, I guess 5th year with no raise- 6th year at the same pay.
     
  32. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    North Carolina micromanages everything. And I do mean everything. Liquor can only be purchased at the state-run ABC store, teacher pay, etc... Micromanaging costs money.
    Added to that, North Carolina law states that the budget must balance- there can be no deficit. Therefore cuts are made.
    Between 2004-2007 (maybe as far back as 2000/2002), North Carolina's economy was booming. They had a budget surplus. They started a lot of (stupid/unnecessary) programs with the extra funding instead of saving it. As the economy fell apart, these programs still needed funding to maintain them. Therefore, North Carolina had even more things to fund with a lot less money.

    Plus, of course, is the fact that North Carolina is a non-union state. There is no protection for teachers.
     
  33. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Here in CO the lowest I've seen for starting pay with no masters is 29,000 (typical of rural areas) and the highest I've seen is 36,000. However, the district that pays 36,000 has such tiny raises for each "step" that in the long term you'd end up making less than even the people that started at 30,000 to begin with. Here in Denver the salary is doable. When I lived in the mountains, it definitely was not. I made less than I do in Denver and I literally lived in an affordable housing complex for 900 a month. That district also didn't pay extra for masters. Most districts in Denver still do but I see that going away as pay for performance is implemented (it's now required state wide). I'm starting an 18 month masters program later this month and I'm just praying that they don't take away the salary bump before I'm finished. Right now, I could be making 7,000 more per year if I had a masters. Most of the salary scales top out at 60,000-70,000 with a masters plus 60. I'm from OH and I feel that the teachers there get much better pay for a lower cost of living too. My dad makes almost 100,000 per year and my parents live in a very nice house that only cost 134,000. Any house around here in a decent neighborhood is at least 400,000 on the cheap end. My friend teaches in a very rural part of OH and only makes 29,000, but she lives in a large,gorgeous apartment with an attached garage for only 400 a month with utilities included.

    The way it's been explained to me, CO is a "right to work" state but it's a little different that other states that are right to work. You can still have unions, but you can't force people to participate by automatically deducting dues from everyone's pay check. Teachers have to sign up to be part of the union, and how strong it is depends on participation. My district in the mountains gave up on even trying to have one because there was never enough interest. My district last year had a very strong union with 96% participation.
     
  34. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

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    We have an extremely conservative Republican legislature and governor. They have no respect for teachers or the profession of teaching if you are not in a private, religious charter school.

    Beyond the low pay keep in mind that tenure no longer exists. If you already have it your can keep it, but no new teachers with less than four years of experience will ever get tenure. If you are trying to get a master's degree and do not have it by April 2013 you will get no additional pay for having a master's or other advanced degrees.

    On this scale as shown I have seen a raise. With a Master's degree and twenty years in the classroom I actually make $1 more than I made in 2008.
     
  35. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    It seems the NC legislators are attempting to drive away the most hirable and mobile teachers. Couple this with the voter suppression laws they just passed, it's going to be hard to change the direction of public policy.
     
  36. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    This is all undoubtedly part of the bigger plan.

    I have no words. Are you being sarcastic?

    Off the top of my head, I can name 9 teachers that I knew personally that have left teaching this summer. The exodus has already begun in earnest.
     
  37. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    NC just came off of a term with a democratic governor. How is this relevant?
     
  38. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Lucybelle, Very true. I am in a decent area of the state and my starting pay is around 36k. When I truly think about it I am maintaining without many issues. Of course I do not have any children, my car is paid off and since I'm in grad school I'm not currently paying back any school loans. Now with that said, I can quickly see how someone with a family would have a hard time maintaining with school loans and a car note in the picture.

    Yellowdaisies I wish I could explain "how it has happened" but I cannot fully explain it for you. Decisions of the governor, interest groups who elect to get him in office, etc are really the underlying powers that have control. I can truly say our districts fight for more, but are denied and continue to receive less.

    So while the pay is not optimal any given month I have money left and I'm not living paycheck to paycheck. I would still love and appreciate a raise!
     
  39. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Pisces_Fish I feel it is just the beginning on the exodus!
     
  40. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Two of the teachers at my school left last year and went to Michigan. Me in June, and the other in January (she is the one I took over for). She did not have a job, but her husband (who also taught in our district) got one. She ended up landing a LTS job in his district in March.
    So my (old) district is losing them as well. Another at my school almost moved back to her home state, too, and I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't in the next few years.
     
  41. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    When I lived in NC before moving down here I also lived just fine on 32k/year. I was single, no kids and had paid off all school loans with a nice Americorps scholarship. Even when my (then) boyfriend was living with me, I was able to support the both of us no problem since he was unable to work. For me it's less the low pay, and more all of the horrible things together. The low pay, the minimal raises, the lack of compensation for masters/NBC, no class cap in elementary, jobs being lost, paras and assistants being cut, huge decrease in funding, etc. It's obvious the state's priorities are elsewhere. Education is going down the tube in NC.
     

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