After much wrangling, the 2014 budget has been signed by the governor, but the legislature is still in session - sort of. Bills are still pending, and anything could happen, though the focus is not on community colleges.
The budget priorities included these items:
1) Fully fund the “Closing the Skills Gap” initiative ($16.8 million). Fully funding the Closing the Skills Gap initiative will increase funding for high demand, high cost technical education and healthcare programs by
15%, using funds that previously would have been required to teach developmental education courses. It rewards community college faculty for implementing efficiencies into new, accelerated developmental education
curriculum, and puts the savings into programs where North Carolina needs more highly skilled workers. STATUS: UNCLEAR. CCs MAY HAVE RECEIVED MOST OR ALL OF THESE FUNDS, based on House and Senate Recommendations.
2) Increase Quality and enable community colleges to provide faculty salary increases beyond state employee raises ($20.1 million). Converting non-recurring funds into recurring funding will provide
community colleges with the local capability to improve instructional quality across the board. In addition to increasing course and program offerings to meet workforce demands and providing greater student supports to
increase graduation rates, many community colleges will likely choose to use this funding to retain strong faculty and staff. The quality of NC’s future workforce depends on the quality of its community college educators.
Community colleges can’t be the best, when our average salaries are near the worst. NO.
Faculty, like all state employees, will earn a 1,000 raise. If you are a 12-month employee, or one who earns vacation time as a benefit, then you will earn 5 additional days of vacation pay. Nine-month faculty who do not earn vacation benefits will not receive this benefit.
Yes, this is the third time (at least) that the legislators have provided benefits to only some state employees. Have you done your part in educating your legislator that you - and many of your 16,000 peers, are NOT receiving it?
Please talk to them before you vote for them. Here's more information to share with them:
Take a look at the latest SREB report: Since 2011, we've moved from 11th of the 17 states in the region to 16th. During this same time frame, our efforts to improve efficiency and student success by restructuring key programs and focusing on cost-saving methodologies have save the state millions in taxpayer dollars. Our representatives need to be reminded that we are
- Builds a stronger, better prepared workforce
- Closes the skills gap for employers by creating opportunities for job creation and retention.
- Enhances economic development with specialized training and a strong business-education partnership
- Saves North Carolina families money by providing a great educational value
"Support Faculty and Staff Salary Increases: Community college faculty and staff – the keys to successful student outcomes – continue to be paid significantly less than national and regional averages. North Carolina’s average faculty salary ranks 15th in the 16-state Southeast Regional Education Board (SREB) area. We ask the General Assembly to provide the funds to support all educators in North Carolina being paid a salary that reflects the value they bring to our students and our State."Remember to contact your legislator from your home address/computer; do not use work time, equipment, or stationary to contact her or himAnd stay tuned for more updates.