Iler defends teacher raises, calls NCAE tactics "propaganda"

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - There has been quite a bit of backlash since the state legislature announced that school teachers would get a 7 percent raise under the new state budget. Many educators say the numbers are misleading, and that teachers are getting short changed.

Representative Frank Iler responded to the criticism Wednesday. Iler said no matter how you slice the numbers, this budget means a significant raise for teachers. He's upset with the way he says the North Carolina Association of Educators is trying to spin the numbers.

"Basically, it's propaganda by the NCAE… Nothing was going to satisfy them, because the more they can stir things up, the more money they raise in memberships, and I didn't use to say that but I decided I might as well say it because they are saying whatever it takes to make us look bad and I think we've done a great thing with this budget," Iler said.

The General Assembly has been advertising that teachers would get a 7 percent raise under this budget. Iler said even if you factor longevity pay out of the equation, it is still an average of a 5 percent raise.

For newer teachers, the raise is more like 18 percent. For long-time teachers who are already making around $50,000 a year, the raise would be much less, about 2 percent.

But Iler says that's fair. He said lawmakers are most concerned about bringing the salaries on the low end of the pay scale up, and they feel that top earning teachers are already getting a decent paycheck.

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