Teachers in the Wake County Public School System might have a higher salary next year after county commissioners proposed a raise funded independently from the state Oct. 6.
“We are committed to working toward compensating staff adequately for their services and dedication,” said Heather Lawing, spokesperson for the Wake County Public School System.
Lawing said the money would not go specifically toward any school, but would help individual teachers.
The changes proposed to the county budget will attempt to raise all teacher salaries by around $2,000. This will raise the average salary of public school teachers in Wake County to $35,000 annually. The change is aimed to help improve North Carolina’s teacher salary ranking, which is currently one of the lowest in the nation.
Money for the proposed change would be taken from other places in the budget.
“There are three main sources of funds for schools — they are funded by federal government, state government and local property taxes,” said Thurston Domina, associate professor of educational policy and sociology at UNC.
He said the increase in teacher salary would most likely come from the property taxes — the most flexible part of school funding.
Domina said districts with higher property taxes have more wiggle-room in budget changes while areas that rely on state and federal funds will have a harder time allocating the heavily-earmarked money.
Eric Houck, associate professor of educational leadership and policy at UNC, said schools have to request funding from county commissioners.