Holly Ridge, N.C. (WNCT) Governor Roy Cooper held a roundtable discussion with teachers and administrators at Dixon Elementary School in Onslow County.

The conversation focused on the need for a significant teacher pay raise, a school construction bond, and Dixon’s recovery efforts after sustaining significant damages from Hurricane Florence.

“Our teachers deserve not just a significant pay raise, but also our respect,” said Governor Cooper. Right now, teachers haven’t gotten raises because Republican legislators won’t negotiate with me and won’t respond to my balanced budget compromise proposal that included a significant teacher pay raise.”

Governor Cooper’s proposal included an 8.5 percent teacher raise to recruit and retain teaching talent.

The Republican budget included a 3.8 percent raise that will not keep North Carolina competitive with other states.

“Teachers in North Carolina are amongst the most dedicated life-long learners I have had the privilege of working with,” said Danielle Yocum, a 4th-grade teacher at Dixon Elementary School. My hope is that the State of North Carolina will finally see the many hats we, as teachers, wear and the struggles we endure to keep our many hats securely in place. Our compensation should reflect all aspects of ’Teacher Life’ so future educators will choose to teach as a profession.”

“As a veteran teacher with 25 years teaching experience in NC, I would like to know that my experience, the support I provide to teachers with less experience, and all the ‘extras’ I do for my school and county are valued,” said Cynthia Patane, 2nd grade teacher at Dixon Elementary School. “I’ve spent many late nights, weekends, and summer ’vacation’ days preparing lessons, materials, or assessing new students, all without complaining because I am dedicated to my profession and strive to do my best.” 

Governor Cooper’s compromise budget proposal prioritizes real raises for teachers and funding for school construction.

The proposal closes the healthcare coverage gap and gives teachers an 8.5 percent pay raise while also funding local projects that the GOP included in their original budget.