Senate Introduces School Employee Pay Bill
Elizabeth Yelverton | NCASA Legal Affairs & Policy Manager
Members of the NC General Assembly continued to work on COVID-19 relief measures this week, while also advancing other policy and funding bills, including an educator pay package. Senate Bill 818, introduced on Wednesday, would implement teacher and principal salary schedules, create a hold-harmless for principal bonuses, and provide a $350 bonus to teachers and instructional support personnel. Certain advocacy groups, such as the NC Association of Educators (NCAE), have already expressed their opposition to the bill, noting “all other state employees are still scheduled to get their 2.5 percent raise, on top of the 2.5 percent they received last year.” S818 unanimously passed the Senate Rules Committee this morning, and heads next to the Senate floor for additional discussion and voting by the full chamber. The following is a summary of the major sections of the bill:
- Teacher Salary Schedule — establishes the 2020-2021 Teacher Monthly Salary Schedule using amounts from the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 fiscal years. Teachers and instructional support personnel would receive applicable step increases based on years of experience.
- School Employee Bonuses — provides one-time $350 bonus for teacher and instructional support personnel by repurposing funds previously dedicated to specialty teacher bonuses – including AP/IB, CTE, 3rd Grade Read to Achieve, 4th and 5th Grade Reading, and 4th-8th Grade Math – since these bonuses for 2019-20 were dropped in an earlier law change due to school closure and the lack of performance data. The Department of Public Instruction would distribute the bonuses for payment by 31, 2020. Notably, central office and noncertified staff are both excluded from this bonus.
- Governor Encouraged To Match Bonuses — encourages the Governor to use his discretionary Emergency Education Relief Fund ($95M) under the federal COVID-19 relief law to provide an extra $600 bonus to teachers, instructional support personnel, and noncertified staff with no mention of central office personnel in this recommended award either.
- Principal Salary Schedule — establishes the 2020-2021 Principal Annual Salary Schedule using salary amounts from the 2019-2020 fiscal year and growth data from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. School growth scores from the 2019-2020 school year would not be used, as they are not being issued this year under legislation approved earlier. Principal salaries would continue to be adjusted based on average daily membership, with those adjustments taking effect Jan. 1, 2021 as scheduled.
- Principal Bonuses — provides roughly 1,000 principals who received a performance bonus in 2019-20 based on the previous school year’s data to be awarded the same bonus in 2020-21.
- Assistant Principal Salaries — authorizes assistant principal salaries for the 2020-2021 fiscal year based on amounts from the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 fiscal years. Assistant principals would receive applicable step increases based on years of experience.
- State Agency Teacher Salaries — authorizes salaries for employees of schools operated by State agencies who are paid on the Teacher Salary Schedule based on amounts from the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 fiscal years. These employees would receive applicable salary increases based on years of experience.
- Funding Provisions — provides funds for an increase in the average salary of public school positions and slightly lowers the annual employer contributions rate to the State Health Plan.
Members can access the entire summary of S818 prepared by legislative staff by clicking here.