North Carolina is poised to take away Master's pay for teachers

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Pisces_Fish, Jul 5, 2013.

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  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I have been away from my computer a lot lately because of some mini-vacations and Summer School trainings but it's been continuously on my mind. It appears that NC is seriously considering taking away the 10% salary supplement for teachers with a Master's. This will only affect teachers who don't have their degrees before June 2014 (?) Teachers who already have it will be "grandfathered in"

    This seriously upsets me. I do not have my Master's but I have been seriously considering it for about a year.

    Not only does it infuriate me that the state won't give teachers any incentive to better themselves, it angers me to feel so disrespected. I moved to the state in 2008 and have been generally pretty happy here. However, if this bill passes, I can't see myself staying very long. I don't want my taxes to go to a state that doesn't value teachers and I'd rather move to another state that would help me pay off all those loans. :dizzy:

    Has anyone been following this story? Are there other states out there that don't pay their teachers more for furthering their education? I foresee a flood of teachers leaving the state and/or profession if this bill goes through. :unsure:
     
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  3. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    That's ridiculous. :mad: I'm so sorry, and I can understand why you want to leave the state.

    In CA, pay for this is determined by district. Some districts have generous master's stipends, some don't. (I, for example, get a whopping $500 stipend a year for my M.S.:rolleyes:) The money comes more from units - what column you're in on the salary scale. But again, a master's could get you a lot more or a little more depending on district.

    I have a semi related question - I've read that there are a LOT of National Board certified teachers in North Carolina. Is there a stipend for that?
     
  4. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Interesting. I know my district is recognized for having a lot of NBC teachers but I didn't know the state was, too. This bill would not affect NBC, which currently has a 12% supplement.
     
  5. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Wow! See, that's different. Few districts in California pay anything for NBC.

    Not that it justifies them taking away the Master's stipend, of course!
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This is just so upsetting. :(

    There may come a time when my hoosband and I move to NC. It's his home state and we've been thinking about purchasing land there. I think if we end up moving there I would have to pursue a career other than teaching. I'm not sure that they would accept my masters degree as a teacher new to the state, even though it was earned many years ago. According to the salary schedule, I'd make like half what I make now, if they didn't give me any experience credits. :( I should point out that I teach in a very low-paying state as it is!
     
  7. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Caesar, it's really difficult sometimes. We don't have a union, which contributes to us being 48th in the nation for pay.

    Even with that pitiful statistic, I hate the idea of moving back home to RI. If I were to relocate I would probably just go back home. But I genuinely like it here, overall. I'm anxiously awaiting the news of this bill. Strangely, I'm having a really hard time finding any recent news articles on the topic.
     
  8. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    That's not right. I was not aware how low NC pays teachers until Giraffe posted hers. I'm in Ms. and I made more. In NC do you pay into PERS and social security?
     
  9. SandyCastles

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    My principal asked me this year to do NBC. I said that I couldn't because I can't afford to pay for it (the district used to cover it but doesn't anymore) and really I think NC is the only state it matters much in. I have a MS and additional credits. I am struggling to pay back my loans on what I am making here but in NC because there are no jobs in the Northeast. I really do like living here but the way they handle education here is really, really disturbing.
     
  10. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Social security and there are no pensions. 401-Ks for retirement. I think pensions could be grandfathered to people, too, but this was before I came to NC.

    I had heard they were taking away National Boards, too, but I don't read about it. It infuriates me, so I stick to word of mouth.
     
  11. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    People always think I want to move back home because I am homesick. I'm not- really. I'm tired. I have to work two jobs to pay monthly bills and I am not getting any debt paid down. I'm tired of it, and Michigan pays much, much more (typically). Plus, I'd be back with my family. Winter will stink, and I love being a few hours from the beach, but my overall quality of life will be way better.
     
  12. SandyCastles

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    I hear you there- I am barely scooting by at the end of each month. I try not to read too much about it, either.
     
  13. NC Teacher 4

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    After 19 years of teaching in NC, my base salary is $41,000 before taxes. I remember when NC had steps, my salary was frozen for steps 11-15. Then remember a few years back, salaries were frozen again. So for nine of my nineteen years, my salary was frozen.

    I read an article that says masters degrees don't make better teachers, that teachers peak after their first few years...So I guess me trying to further my education won't have any impact in my class room. Here's the article http://www.news-record.com/blogs/no...cle_abb3e468-c21b-11e2-a973-0019bb30f31a.html
     
  14. 2ndTimeAround

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    I've been hearing about NBC supplements being taken away long before the Master's supplement came into play. I have my masters but not NBC. Now that the districts won't pay for National Boards, I don't see me trying for it.

    Except for high school teachers that get a Master's in their content area (versus a M.Ed), I can see that extra education doesn't really make that much of an impact in the classroom. I personally don't know anyone that made great improvements in their teaching due to education courses that they took later. And from the M.Ed classes that I personally took - a GOOD two hour professional development class would have been a much better use of time. So I can see why the state is second guessing the worth of the supplement. From those that I know, the process to get National Boards was much more reflective and prompted more growth.

    I don't understand where the "no pension" comment came from though. NC teachers do get a pension upon retirement.
     
  15. KinderCowgirl

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    I've known people who actually learned a lot and shared some really good resources from their Master's classes. If nothing else, it often makes you reflect on your own teaching practices (as does NBC), which is something that I think teachers should be encouraged to do. Often we are in a little bubble on our campuses. I know most of our PD's are chosen for us and there are limited options for how to further our own learning. I think wanting to better your craft should be rewarded.
     
  16. waterfall

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    My first district loved to tell us all about this research. They were "pay for performance" (which the whole state is moving to now) and they paid a small stipend per year for having the masters. I never looked into getting mine because on that kind of scale it would take me 10-15 years to even break even from the cost of getting a masters. When they first started the pay for performance, you could get pretty significant raises that may have been equal or more to getting experience/masters steps. However, the program was expensive (they had to pay "master" and "mentor" teachers significantly more to make the program work) and by year 3 they had pretty much run out of money for it.

    I'm now in the same state but moved to the city. Districts around here pay significant amounts for masters degrees. I'm starting a new job next year and if I had a masters I'd be making almost 7k more per year. By the time you get to 15 years experience a person with a master's is making almost 20k more. I'm hopefully starting my program in the fall and just hoping that I can get it done before they take the pay bumps away. Even if I only get the traditional salary bump one time, that will still be a 7k raise for me. My biggest fear is that they'll decide to stop paying for them right before I finish. I do think that is the way that education will go.
     
  17. Emily Bronte

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    It is a bit ridiculous to not give a bump in pay for higher education. In what profession would that happen? None that I can think of. Pisces, you don't want to move back to RI?
     
  18. AdamnJakesMommy

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    I'm a NC native, still live here, and a teacher pursuing a Master's as we speak. Honestly, this doesn't bother me. The Republican in me, and aspiring future politician, is more concerned with the overall state of NC's economy than a few extra hundred dollars in my bank account.
     
  19. JustMe

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    I've read so many times on this board from members who don't believe advanced degrees influence teaching. I have said many times in response how much my classroom benefited from my degrees. So, what's the deal? Are we supposed to prove it, and if so, how? Test scores? Because if that's the only thing that will convince someone of the value of a master's degree, I can't help there. But I'd argue to the end (well, that seems dramatic) that my additional education made a huge difference in my classroom!
     
  20. 2ndTimeAround

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    If you say it made a difference for you, JustMe, then I'll believe you 100%. I just said that I don't know of any case personally where it has made a difference, in the education courses, that is. If my experience is common across the state, I can understand why politicians would feel the way they do. I hope they don't remove the supplement, I can just understand why they would choose Master's over National Boards.
     
  21. TnKinder

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    Masters

    Here in my district they have decided not to pay for advanced degrees. Teachers who already have them will stay at the same pay level, but those who are not done with their program by Aug 2014 will not receive the pay bump. The have also decreased the stipend for NBC. Many teachers who were in the process have decided not to continue because the stipend now will not cover their investment.
     
  22. Pashtun

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    It is disappointing that districts wouldn't pay teachers for advanced degrees in their fields. On the other hand, its also disappointing that so many teachers only get advanced degrees for the pay raises.
     
  23. ecteach

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    I teach in NC. I do not have my master's. This is sickening, and it is heartbreaking. I have also been thinking a lot about getting mine, but I would get it in a related field like social work or counseling and then leave the field of teaching once I got it. I love my job, but I WOULD NOT continue to make $31,000/year with a master's degree. This is my 7th year teaching, and that's what I make. Oh well, what can you do?
     
  24. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    It is not so much the pay raise, but why would I get $20K further into debt if I am forever going to make $31K??? That's how much I've made in NC for the last 5 years. We've been on a pay freeze for 5 years. Assuming they unfreeze us, it takes a teacher 9 years to get to $35K!!!!!
     
  25. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    And contrary to popular belief, the cost of living is not dirt cheap. In Michigan, I paid $350/mo for a 1 bedroom apartment WITH heat, water, trash included. In NC, I paid $805 for a 1 bedroom apartment with nothing included. True, apartments can be had for closer to $600-700, but they had waiting lists and I couldn't stay in a hotel. You *can* get them for $500 or so, but expect your car to be up on blocks in the morning!
     
  26. Pashtun

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    I agree 100%. You have to have a livable wage.

    Personally I am going to get my masters in education ONLY for the pay raise. But shouldn't we really be getting it because it makes us better at our craft?

    Not trying to be argumentative, but isn't teacher wages known in NC? When I decided to be a teacher I knew the pay scale before I started any courses.
     
  27. Jerseygirlteach

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    What is wrong with wanting a higher salary?
     
  28. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    But you are being argumentive and your argument is silly. It's been in this thread and even the very post your quoted that pay freezes have been horrible in North Carolina. Furthermore, you can accept a career and its low salary and still advocate for better wages.
     
  29. Pashtun

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    I am not talking about pay freezes, I am talking about the fact the OP says it takes 9 years to get to 34k. That really should not be a issue if that was the known pay scale for teachers in NC.
     
  30. Mr.history

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    My state pays 5k more for each degree.(GA)
    I'm getting my masters right now. At first I did it because I couldn't find a job but I really expect to be a better teacher this year because of the courses I took. I do think I could have gotten this training through PD courses at my school if they were offered but they aren't. My masters is in instructional technology with a gifted certification add on as well. I hope to get a district technology coach job somewhere down the line.(I want to teach for a while first).
     
  31. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I'll just have to disagree with your assessment of the discussion here and overall issue.
     
  32. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    First of all, it is 9 years of experience to get paid $35K. So technically, you will not make 35K until your 10th year.

    My first year was 2007-2008. After 9 years, you would have made $38,210 and they were getting scale increases every year.
    In 2008-2009, you would make $38,680 after 9 years.
    Things didn't freeze up until the 2009-2010 school year. We have been frozen on our step. So, ASSUMING we are allowed to move steps beginning this year, you will make $35,800 after 9 years.
    So, no, I had no idea it would be THIS bad. I didn't have a crystal ball.

    Had we remained on the 2008-2009 pay scale and been allowed to move steps, a teacher would collectively make $306,770 in their first 9 years of teaching. With the pay freeze, a teacher will make $283,770. (Assuming we are unfrozen and step up on the 2012-2013 pay scale.) That is a difference of $23,000. $23,000 is a big number for me, personally.
     
  33. Pashtun

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    I think I am confused. Your pay is frozen or you had a permanent pay cut?

    My district froze our pay, cut our salary by a few percent, laid teachers off, and cut our work days. We are union and negotiate our contracts, so we are lucky in that regard as all of the "cuts" had teacher approved conditions.

    I assume you are not union in NC and that is problem imo. NC definitely sounds like a state that does not value its teachers.
     
  34. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Our pay has been completely frozen. Our pay has been frozen since 2008-2009. So, in 2008-2009, I made $30,850 per year, as a second year teacher. A first year teacher made $30,430. Fast forward to 2011-2012, and a first, second, third, and fourth year teacher all made $30,430. As a fifth year teacher, I made $30,850. They did give us a small raise this year, but not a step. I made $31,220. First, second, third, fourth, and fifth year teachers all made $30,800.
    Click to see the scale if you wish. It is state wide.
     
  35. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Unions are illegal in North Carolina. However, there are union districts in other states that have frozen, or even decreased, pay.
     
  36. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I had always thought I'd end up in NC or SC when I was younger. I knew I would have to move due to the job market in OH but CO wasn't even on the radar! I thought it would be so nice to live somewhere warmer near the ocean. When I was first job searching I applied a little but never got any calls. A friend who was searching at the same time as me finally got someone at a job fair to tell her you had to apply for the license before districts would consider you. Right around that time I was offered the job in CO. I am SO glad my original plan didn't work out! We don't get paid well here for the cost of living but it is better than the NC scale.
     
  37. JustMe

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    Gosh, that's depressing. I made over $50,000 after just five years and we have a low cost of living. It's really unfortunate! :(
     
  38. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    FL does have unions, and my county has been frozen since 2006-2007. Starting next year, anyone new to the district will not receive extra compensation for a master, specialist, or doctorate. They already cut out the supplement for NBC. Also... anyone coming into the district starts five steps below their actual experience to keep it "fair" for those of us who haven't received steps for so many years.
     
  39. monsieurteacher

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    Just to respond to the idea that a Masters has no impact on a teacher's teaching, I can see where that comes from, but I disagree. If someone is committed to improving their practice and works at their Masters with that goal in mind, the Master's will clearly improve their overall practice, as JustMe has stated.

    There are, however, teachers who are just looking for the pay raise, and so they will BS their way through their degree, and not gain anything but a pay raise.
     
  40. AdamnJakesMommy

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    I'm not sure who ascribes to the popular belief that it is dirt cheap to live in NC!??!! Guess they've never been to the coast (where I live). There is so much variance in NC, in eastern NC alone you can get decent places in Craven County from as little as 80K to as much as 750K---all depending upon how close you are to the Neuse/Trent rivers. Then go just directly south into Carteret County, which has oceanfront availability and it's even more varied. Don't even want to get into the variance in Hyde or Dare Counties which include both mainland and outer banks properties, separated by the Albemarle/Pamlico sounds.

    And eastern NC is by far the "poorer" section of NC (overall). Piedmont certainly blows us out of the water--I went to undergrad in Greensboro and they have a wide discrepancy there as well. And I can only imagine the variance in cost of living in the mountains---thinking Asheville versus small towns in the mountains.
     
  41. AdamnJakesMommy

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    NC is dealing with complex economic issues and is slowly becoming a state with a balanced budget for sure. Yes, we are a right to work state---we collectively do not want union representation here.
     
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