10/26/05 — Pay raise would help teachers in Wayne

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Pay raise would help teachers in Wayne

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 26, 2005 1:58 PM

Edgewood Community Developmental School principal Tasha Christian Adams said she learned about the governor's plan to raise public school teachers' salaries a couple of months ago through the North Carolina Associ-ation of Educators, where she serves as a district officer and administrative board member.

"I was so excited that I began spreading the news," she said. "People kept asking, 'When?' and I didn't know, but kept telling them, 'It's coming.'"

Now that it's official, she said she is excited that her words have come to fruition.

"Yay for Governor Easley," she said this morning. "We're very pleased about this. It will help a lot in quality teacher recruitment and retention."

Cindy Sprouse has been a teacher for 22 years. She works with special needs high school students at Edgewood.

"Hopefully, this means that I'm not having to train a teacher to help me every year," she said.

The plan will also support the recruiting efforts in the school system, said Ken Derksen, public information officer for Wayne County Public Schools.

"As the funds are made available and this plan becomes a reality, to have the teachers' salaries at the national average means a lot," he said. "When you can keep the salaries high right here at home, you don't have to worry as much about teacher allotments."

The teacher raise is expected to be a morale booster, Ms. Adams said.

"It's going to benefit the students, too," Ms. Sprouse added. "If there is consistency, test scores will go up; teachers will be able to get the things that they don't have."

When she began her career as an educator, Ms. Sprouse said the base salary for teachers was $14,000.

"It's taken them 20 years to get here," she said. "So, this is going to be a blessing."

She said factors like the cost of living have increased over the years. With the raise, teachers will now be able to do more and provide more for their students.