North Carolina Governor Signs Budget
Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday signed a state government budget bill that had been expected on his desk at least five weeks ago, giving teachers and state employees significant raises for the first time in several years.
The Republican governor earlier had made it clear he would sign the $21.1 billion budget, which received final legislative approval last week. His action officially authorizes adjustments to the second year of the two-year budget law approved last summer.
The measure gives $1,000 raises to most state workers and roughly 7 percent average increases for public school teachers, with a range of 0.3 percent to 18.5 percent. Teachers and state employees had received one raise since 2008: 1.2 percent increases in 2012.
"We're rewarding them for the first time in many years in a sufficient and effective way, and we're showing them respect," McCrory said at an Executive Mansion ceremony.
The teacher raises are tilted largely toward those with less than 12 years in the classroom as a way to keep educators from leaving their field. The salary schedule was also reduced from more than 30 experience-based steps to six.
In keeping with an announcement last winter by McCrory and legislative leaders, the base salary for the least experienced teachers grew from $30,800 to $33,000.