NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – A plan to increase salaries for starting teachers is not attracting much praise from some teachers in New Hanover County.
Chris Meek, who teaches at Murray Middle School, said the plan will likely attract new teachers as expected. But he said he's one of 70% of teachers across the state who will not be included in the plan.
"It's lip service really," Meek said. "The reaction from my colleagues today was incredulous."
Meek spoke just a week ago as part of the Aim Higher organization, which is pushing for state lawmakers to raise teachers' salaries to the national average. He said this plan does not help teachers who already have years of experience as teachers for students and mentors for the newly hired educators.
And Meek said veteran teachers won't be as likely to stick around to mentor without the raise.
"There's not going to be anybody," he said. "The quality of our education is going to decrease and the eventuality of it is our children are going to suffer."
State leaders have said that more raises for other educators could be a possibility depending on what money becomes available.
Meek said teachers impact too many lives for the matter to be a possibility. He said it'll take the support of former students and parents of current students to convince lawmakers of the importance of all educators.
"We need them to be our advocates now," Meek said. "Say, ‘Hey, it's because of that person that we are where we are today. You, the legislator, need to respect them'."
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