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N.C. Senate names advisers on teacher pay

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  • Emerging issue: Teacher pay

    N.C. State University’s annual Emerging Issues Forum will focus on “Teachers and the Great Economic Debate” this year. National speakers and state officials will put North Carolina’s struggles in a national and international context, followed by talk about what comes next for the state. The forum takes place Feb. 10-11 at the Raleigh Convention Center. Registration costs $275 for government, nonprofit and higher education representatives and $400 for others and runs through Jan. 31. Details: http://iei.ncsu.edu/



A Charlotte teachers’ representative and an Iredell-Statesville school board member this week joined a panel advising state lawmakers on teacher pay.

Last summer, the N.C. House and Senate created a joint task force to study the issue, which has become one of the state’s hottest topics. Low base pay and a controversial plan to replace tenure with four-year contracts for 25 percent of qualified teachers have sparked debate across North Carolina.

The 25-percent plan, which provides $500-a-year raises for teachers who give up tenure and take the contracts, was designed as a first step toward a pay system that does a better job of rewarding the most effective teachers. School districts are struggling with how to select teachers for those contracts, and the N.C. Association of Educators has sued to block the plan.

The House named its task force members in September, but the Senate waited until this week. State Rep. Rob Bryan, a Mecklenburg Republican who co-chairs the panel, said the first meeting has not been set.

Judy Kidd, an Independence High teacher who heads the Classroom Teachers Association, and Bryan Shoemaker, a member of the Iredell-Statesville school board, are among the nine members appointed to represent the Senate.

Others are Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Archdale, who will co-chair the task force; Sen. Dan Soucek, R-Watauga County; Sen. Clark Jenkins, D-Tarboro; Sen. Ben Clark, D-Hoke County; Leah Carper, a Guilford County teacher; Rebecca Fagge, a Winston Salem-Forsyth teacher; and Kim Robertson, a Cumberland County principal.

Helms: 704-358-5033; Twitter: @anndosshelms
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