Lawmakers in the Senate Thursday passed what’s known as step increases for teachers.
It’s basically a bonus. For each year you’ve been a teacher, you’ll get about a $100 step increase up until a certain point but some are worried it’s not enough.
Lawmakers have been passing these ‘mini budgets’ since Governor Cooper vetoed the full budget, months ago.
But, it’s just here recently that they’ve tackled teacher pay raises as part of the mini budgets.
When it comes to teacher pay raises, it’s safe to say everyone agrees they need them.
For Democrats and Republicans in our state, the issue is over how much of a raise.
For each year you’ve been a teacher, you’ll get about a 1000 dollar step increase.
Many people here in Greenville — agree; teachers need these raises because they do a lot.
One lady said, “We depend on teachers to help raise our children, our kids are with them the majority of the day.”
Another said, “I’ve been a teacher in the past, I make way more now as a nanny than I did as a teacher so I think they need a raise.”
Overall, Governor Roy Cooper says teachers need an 8.5% raise.
In the original state budget, they were only going to get 3.5%.
On Twitter, Governor Cooper says he’s offered to sit down with Republicans and talk about teacher pay raises.
He says it’s disappointing they won’t do that.
Republican Senator Harry Brown says Senate Republicans have spoken to Cooper — but the governor is dead-set on having Medicaid expansion in the budget, Brown says if that wasn’t a deal-breaker, he feels like they could get a budget everyone agrees on —- including the governor — in just a few days.
Democratic Senator Don Davis says he agrees with the step increases but says it’s time to talk about giving teachers an actual raise and they need to discuss Medicaid expansion as well.
It is expected they’ll see more legislation talking about more teacher pay raises come up in the next few weeks.
The step increases bill goes back to the House where they’re likely to take it up next week.
Senator Davis says if this makes it to Governor Cooper’s desk, he isn’t sure but he says he will likely veto it.