Last year: Cooper, Dems blocked 3.9% pay raise, rejected offer of 4.9% raise plus $1,000 bonus
This year: State is $5 billion in the red; Cooper, Dems shouldn’t have blocked pay raises when the money was on the table
Raleigh, N.C. — The North Carolina Senate tonight passed legislation to equally distribute $350 bonuses to every teacher. Typically, the bonuses would go to teachers based on student performance, but because the school year was cut short, not enough data exists to identify which teachers excelled. Therefore, the legislature will distribute equal bonuses to every teacher.
Sen. Harry Brown (R-Onslow) said, “Between 2014 and last year, the legislature provided North Carolina teachers with the third-highest pay increase in the country. Democrats opposed every single pay raise passed in that period because they use teachers as political pawns. There’s no Republican-proposed teacher raise Democrats would ever support, and now teachers are paying the price for it this year.”
Teachers could have received yet another pay raise on top of their annual step increases, but Gov. Roy Cooper and legislative Democrats blocked them last year with cover from the far-left NCAE. Republicans passed a no-strings-attached 3.9% teacher pay raise, which Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed. Republicans tried to override the veto, but every Democrat voted to sustain it.
Republicans also offered Democrats a 4.9% teacher pay raise plus a $1,000 bonus during budget negotiations, but Gov. Cooper and Democrats opposed it because of their Medicaid expansion-or-nothing ultimatum.
Democrats have opposed every teacher pay raise that the legislature passed in the last decade. Here are the raises Democrats opposed since 2014:
1. 2014–15–7.0% (opposed by Senate Democrats)
2. 2015–16–3.8% (opposed by Senate Democrats)
3. 2016–17–4.7% (opposed by Senate Democrats)
4. 2017–18–3.3% (vetoed by Gov. Cooper, opposed by Senate Democrats)
5. 2018–19–6.5% (vetoed by Gov. Cooper, opposed by Senate Democrats)
Timeline on Teacher Pay Offers for 2019–21
1. May 30 and 31, 2019: The majority of Senate Democrats vote against a 3.5% pay raise for teachers.
2. June 26 and 27, 2019: The majority of Senate Democrats vote against a 3.9% pay raise for teachers.
3. Oct. 31, 2019: Senate Democrats vote against a base 3.9% pay raise that would increase to 4.4% if the veto of the state budget was overridden.
4. November 2019: Senate Democrats do not accept an offer of a 4.9% increase in teacher pay plus a one-time $1,000 bonus for all teachers.
5. Jan. 14, 2020: Senate Democrats vote to sustain Gov. Cooper’s veto of the 3.9% pay raise that would increase 4.4% if the veto of the state budget was overridden.