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GCS proposing supplement salary increases for teachers, principals and assistant principals

Next week the school board will vote on a $18.75 million budget to increase salary supplements and do a salary study from the County Commissioners.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guilford County Schools hopes to become more competitive when it comes to paying principals, teachers and staff.

Next Tuesday, May 10, the school board will vote on a proposed budget of $18.75 million to increase salary supplements for teachers, principals and assistant principals.

What is a salary supplement? There is a state mandated base pay for all school districts in North Carolina, but different districts have different ranges of local supplements. The better the supplement, the more competitive a district is in hiring, recruiting and retaining staff.

In this budget proposal, GCS wants to increase their local supplement for employees and do a salary study on their classified staff salaries to see how competitive they are in comparison to neighboring school districts.

This proposal includes:

  • $10 million to increase the local teacher supplement
  • $5.5 million to complete phase one of a classified staff salary study
  • $3.25 million to improve local principal and assistant principal salary supplements

Kenya Donaldson, Guilford County Association of Educators, or GCAE, president, said it's important to understand that the quality of our education directly coincides with crime rates and our economy.

"It is an investment. Our schools aren't a liability, they're not an expense, they're an investment in our future, the future of Guilford County, the future of our community," Donaldson said.

She also talked about educators are being hit hard by inflation and not only are they leaving the profession, but they're leaving the state.

"Creating a local competitive salary is absolutely essential such that educators aren't having to make that choice. What we don't want is people who really love or are good at what they do in education to leave the profession, essentially to survive," Donaldson said.

Dr. Sharon Contreras, GCS superintendent, said increasing the local teacher supplement would just be the beginning. She said more work needs to be done to raise the base teacher pay.

"We are still far below our peers across the country and if we want to attract teachers fill the thousands of vacancies in this state, then we're going to have to compensate teachers much better," Dr. Contreras said.

She also mentioned there's a bigger issue with being competitive not just in education, but in the workforce as a whole.

The school board will vote on the budget at their meeting on Tuesday, May 10. If approved, it will go before the Board of County Commissioners. Their final decision should come in June.

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