RALEIGH, N.C. — Teachers gathered in Downtown Raleigh Tuesday in opposition to a proposal that would give their pay structure and license renewal a makeover.
Leaders from the North Carolina Association of Educators led the press conference at the Halifax Mall.
What You Need To Know
- NCAE holds press conference against revising teacher pay and license renewal
- Teachers feel professional standards will be lowered
- PEPSC must approve the proposal before it goes forward
Kristin Beller has nearly 20 years of teaching to her name and is the former president of the Wake County chapter of the NCAE.
“Ultimately the state of North Carolina, our parents and our communities, really need to be clear on the consequences of this proposal," she said during the news conference.
Teaching vacancies are a reality for school districts across the state, and attracting smart, young talent to the field is difficult.
Teachers say the plan put forth by the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission proposal will replace annual pay raises. Beller also believes it will make it harder to keep a teacher in the classroom.
“This plan does not demonstrate any value for experience in education,” she said.
Related: N.C. teachers group critical of proposed license, pay overhaul
The blueprint by PEPSC deemphasizes tenure and instead uses license renewal every five years as a way to motivate teachers to hit performance benchmarks.
Administrators say the change will attract outsiders into education.
Beller, however, says the opposite.
“Folks are looking for shortcuts and the truth is, is that when we want to create a sustainable teacher pipeline, there are no shortcuts,” Beller said.
The state department of public instruction has a different stance.
Last week, at a discussion about the proposal, the state superintendent laid out what she hopes to achieve by implementing the plan.
“The draft model in consideration would allow for teachers to advance through their career while remaining in the classroom and demonstrate how they are effectively leading, teaching and guiding students,” Catherine Truitt said.
Beller said the proposal complicates how they get paid and pushes hard working teachers out the door.
“It makes it harder for them to stay in the profession they love,” she explained.
Measurements for performance include standardized testing, peer reviews, and student surveys.
The other fear is that teachers will be asked to do more without receiving a fair wage.
State education leaders estimate it will be approved by the PEPSC in September. From there, it will then head to the state board of education, which would need to give their final approval.
“Our kids are watching and listening. They understand that our teachers are not being valued by the state of North Carolina,” Beller said.