How far does $3.75 million go?

That’s the question for the WCPSS Board of Education.  For this school year, county commissioners approved a recurring $3.75 million to apply to teacher supplements.  This money is a local addition to state base salaries.  It helps Wake County attract and retain high quality teachers, and addresses cost of living differences in Wake County versus other more rural counties.

It’s widely known that Wake offers one of the most generous supplements in the state.  And, in an effort to keep this high ranking, as well as show their appreciation for Wake teachers, the county commissioners approved an increase.

Current Supplement Schedule
Years of Experience Supplement Percentage
0-7 14.25
8-12 14.75
13-17 15.25
18-22 15.75
23-27 16.50
28-30 17.25

How much of an increase?  It depends on how WCPSS chooses to divide the $3.75 million among teachers.

Chief Business Officer David Neter provided board members three options.  All options focus on teachers who provide direct instruction to students and evaluate student work.  This means that instructional resource teachers, media specialists, guidance counselors, and others would not see an increase.

The first two options attempt to address the salary plateaus that are now built into current teacher salary schedules.  New salary schedules put in place this year provide six increases over a 30 year career, where previous salary schedules provided increases every year.  These options provide greater supplement increases to those teachers furthest from the last base salary bump.  Essentially, it provides some increase in pay as teachers move through the five or six years it takes to realize another pay raise on the schedule.

Option 3: Supplement Increases
Yrs. Exp. Reg. Ed. Spec. Ed.
0-25 0.5 1.0
25-29 1.0 1.5
30+ 1.5 2.0

A third option provides an across-the-board increase to most teachers with greater increases to those teachers at the top of the pay scale and special education teachers.  Special education teachers are among the most difficult to recruit in the education job market.)

But here’s the final math.  What does this equate to in the paycheck of a teacher?  Considering all options, for teachers of all certification levels and years of experience, the range of increases goes from a low of $83 to a high of $485.  Per year.  Divided over ten paychecks, that’s a range of increases from $8.30 to $48.50 per month.  Pre-tax.

Granted, we’re talking about modest increases.  These are minor adjustments of percentages of percentages.  And everyone wishes $3.75 million went a little further.