CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A new National Education Association report ranks North Carolina as 42nd in the nation in teacher pay, and says the amount of funding per student dropped $12 in the last year.
North Carolina lawmakers have promised a new plan that would improve education funding and teacher pay.
Rodney Ellis, president of the North Carolina Association for Education, said the entire experience with lawmakers has been frustrating for teachers.
“They continue to hear promises and suggestions that we are going to be able to do this and do that, but at the end of the day, we're right back to where we were the year before, so it's even tougher,” Ellis told Channel 9 by phone.
Last year, Channel 9 reported that the Republican-led Legislature promised a new budget that would boost teacher pay and improve the state's ranking to 32nd in the country.
A Channel 9 investigation last November looked into local teachers moving to Houston for higher-paying positions. Channel 9 learned that Houston school officials are returning this weekend for another job fair.
Eyewitness News Reporter Stephanie Coueignoux spoke to Lillian Brown and her son outside the Rowan Public Library.
Brown said that as a parent who can't afford private school, keeping high-quality teachers in North Carolina is necessary.
“Whatever we can get done, we need to get done. I want my child to grow up and be smart and have a great future,” she said.
As a mother of two, Porsche Brown said lawmakers need to keep their promises. She said she'd hate to see her son's elementary school teacher leave over pay.
“He's pretty excited when he goes to school. He looks forward to it every day. So it's really important to us,” Brown said.
"The union’s press release is a typical one, focused on adults and money without a single mention of student outcomes. Governor McCrory is leading a change that makes targeted investments in education spending that has students, not special interests, at the center of the equation. These investments include a billion dollar increase in teacher pay since becoming governor, a recommended $70 million dollar increase in instructional supplies that includes textbooks and digital devices, and a recommended policy that rewards teachers for their results-driven leadership," said Eric Guckian, senior education adviser to McCrory.
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