Thursday, May 26, 2022

Update: Nonprofit in Lee sponsored budget bill won’t accept money unless distributed statewide

As written the bill increases teachers salaries, but only gave school supply money to Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools

State lawmakers have presented the newest state budget in Raleigh (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy State of North Carolina)
State lawmakers have presented the newest state budget in Raleigh (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy State of North Carolina)

Update Thursday: DonorsChoose has made a public statement on Twitter claiming it will not accept the funding from the budget provision unless the money would be distributed equally throughout the state.

Our original story runs below 


WILMINGTON—Earlier this month teachers from across the Cape Fear Region took to the streets of Raleigh to protest what they consider low wages and low funding for student supplies. Now, it appears that state lawmakers listened to their complaints and are addressing these issues–but not everyone will see the benefits of proposed changes.

Read more: New Hanover County cancels school next Wednesday as 600 teachers take day off for rally

Senate Bill 99 is the budget bill that passed along party lines in the Senate Wednesday night. The bill needs to pass one more Senate vote, expected Thursday, before being sent to House.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Joel Ford, Senator Wesley Meredith, and Senator Michael Lee.

If approved, the bill will provide pay raises to teachers in the state. The monthly salary schedule for 2018-2019 is based on years of experience and shows slight increases for some teachers.

Years of experience 2017-2018 salary 2018-2019 salary
0 $35,000 $35,000
1 $36,000 $36,000
2 $36,300 $37,000
3 $37,300 $38,000
4 $37,300 $39,000
5 $38,300 $40,000
6 $38,300 $41,000
7 $39,300 $42,000
8 $39,300 $43,000
9 $40,550 $44,000
10 $40,550 $45,000
11 $42,050 $46,000
12 $42,050 $47,000
13 $43,550 $48,000
14 $43,550 $49,000
15-24 Varies $50,000
25+ $51,300 $52,000

 

Another one of the complaints the teachers’ walkout addressed was the lack of funding for school supplies for students. Unfortunately, for every school outside of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District, there is no funding allocated to school supplies.

For the schools within the CMSD however, the bill allocates $200,000 to be given to the nonprofit group DonorsChoose.

According to the bill’s language, “Of the funds appropriated in this act to the Department of Public 17 Instruction for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the sum $200,000 for the 2018-2019 fiscal year shall be made available as grant-in-aid to the nonprofit organization known as DonorsChoose Inc., to be used for classroom supplies. The purpose of the funds shall be to enhance educational opportunities by providing the supplies needed to carry out classroom projects planned and requested by educators. Funds shall be available for teachers only at the following schools located in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school administrative unit.”

Teacher assistant pilot program

Another benefit to schools that will have no impact on the Cape Fear Region is the reimbursement of tuition for teacher’s assistants.

According to the bill, “The purpose of this section is to establish a pilot program for, to provide tuition assistance awards to part-time or full-time teacher assistants working in participating local school administrative units, to be administered by certain local boards of education.”

The program is designed to help teacher’s assistants who are taking classes toward obtaining a teaching license.

When it comes to addressing school safety, Senate Bill 99 as it stands requires all schools to work in partnership to create an anonymous safety tip line. This phone line would allow anyone to make tips regarding potential threats against schools.

Lee did not respond to requests for comment on the provisions by the time of publication.

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