Merit Bonuses

John Bailey/Hickory Daily Record: Newton-Conover City Schools Superintendent Dr. David Stegall opened discussion of state funded merit based step raises for non-teacher positions during the recent school board meeting.

NEWTON – While North Carolina House Bill 1030 established a new range in step increases for teachers and instructional support personnel in June, it also set aside money for merit based bonuses for non-educators.

The School Board for Newton-Conover City Schools (NCCS) addressed this new merit based bonus system during its meeting Monday.

The funds are supposed to be distributed in February 2017. Those who qualify include school based administrators, central office and non-certified personnel such as bus drivers, custodians and cafeteria workers. Educators are not eligible, according to a Department of Public Instruction (DPI) summary of the Bill. The state has set aside more than $17 million dollars for the bonuses. Newton-Conover City Schools received $41,404 to distribute once a plan is created and approved by the NCCS Board.

“I do believe, most of the staff I’ve talked to are in line with, I would like to exclude Central Office from this, at least the directors,” Newton-Conover City Schools Superintendent Dr. David Stegall said. “I want you to tell us the direction to go in and then draw up a plan and bring it to you for approval.”

The superintendent added they shouldn’t just give out an across the board bonus to everyone.

“We can’t just say everybody gets two percent or a hundred dollars. There has to be criteria…to reward those drastically underpaid relative to the work they have to do,” Stegall said.

He suggested bringing it back up with the Board next month for further discussion and hoped to have a plan ready by October to submit to DPI.

For teachers and instructional support employees, the step increase included a range of 2.1 percent to 13.1 percent for an average increase of 4.7 percent, according to the DPI summary of House Bill 1030. New teachers in their first year would start out at $35,000 broken up into 12 monthly installments of $2,916.67.

Under the new salary schedules, teachers receive step raises each year, the first 15 years of their career. The actual amount is based on the degrees and or National Board for Professional Teacher Standards certificates they have. After their 14th year, pay raises are not scheduled again until year 15, year 20 and year 25.

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