95 NC counties will see teacher pay raises. Mecklenburg is not one of them

School Watch

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – When it came time to pass North Carolina’s state budget, there was a lot of talk about teacher pay raises.

Teachers across the state are getting one — 5% — but there’s something extra for many districts across the state in the form of a state-subsidized supplement.

In Anson County, that means nearly $3,600 extra per teacher.

In Union County, it means $490 extra per teacher.

In Mecklenburg County, it means $0.

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“Why would I choose to come to Mecklenburg County?,” said Mary McCray, a former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board member, and retired educator.  “I’m not going to be getting any increase in my salary.”

McCray said she doesn’t get why Mecklenburg County, which has one of the largest districts in the state, would be left out.

“(Lawmakers) are going to have answer a solid question on what’s on the line for them to vote for this,” she said.

The supplement, part of a $100 million plan that was in the state budget, gives additional money on top of a 5% raise to most counties in the state.

Mecklenburg County, along with Wake County, Durham County, Guilford County, and Buncombe County were all left out of getting that additional money.

The reason, according to Republican state lawmakers, has to do with the wealth of those counties that they believe can afford to supplement teacher pay.

“And, it’s the best $100 million we are spending in this budget,” said State Sen. Phil Berger on Tuesday.

Democratic lawmakers believe politics is behind the decision because of the counties singled out.

“Almost surgically targeting the districts only of Democrats,” said State Sen Dan Blue of Wake County.

McCray said there can be a push for more teacher pay raises and supplements on the county level, along with an additional appeal to the state for help.

However, she said teachers in Mecklenburg County should not be left out of the supplements, largely due to the growing cost of living in the Charlotte area.

“The cost of living in Mecklenburg County is not going down, it’s increasing,” said McCray.

FOX 46 did reach out to the respective county political parties for their reaction to the news.

The Mecklenburg County Democratic Party said they support the additional supplemental payments to teachers in the county.

The Mecklenburg County Republican party said they supported the supplemental payments for other districts, saying it puts them on a more level playing field with other, larger districts, in hiring of teachers.

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