Proposed Teacher Academy seeks to retain and compensate educators in the state

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, North Carolina (WECT) – The Brunswick County School Board is considering several proposals to recruit, retain and pay teachers in the county.

A proposal creates a “Teachers Academy,” giving teachers more time to work on the program and earn more money in the process.

“Teachers inevitably tell us that there just isn’t enough time,” said Jessica Swencki, spokesperson for Brunswick County Schools. “The workload on top of their plate – meetings, tests, paperwork.”

If approved, the three-year pilot project would add four weeks of voluntary paid employment for teachers in the county. The first two weeks would take place during the last two weeks of June. The next two weeks would take place in the first two weeks of August.

“This opportunity for an 11th month of employment for teachers to focus on the art of teaching and planning would actually allow them to be a bit more focused throughout the school year,” he said. added Swencki.

Laura Sokol-Scott teaches eighth grade at Leland Middle School and said she comes every week during the summer to plan and prepare for the new school year. Sokol-Scott said all those days of unpaid work can put pressure on teachers.

“There are so many more who need to find jobs to survive these summer months,” Sokol-Scott said. For some teachers, the second job is not worth it and they head to greener pastures.

“We have lost a tremendous amount of teachers to South Carolina because if they cross the state border there is an automatic increase of $ 10,000,” Swencki said.

North Carolina ranks among the lowest 20 percent nationally for average teacher salary. Brunswick County teachers have an average salary of $ 42,000, thousands of dollars below the state average.

It is hoped that this new proposal will give teachers additional incentives to do the extra work. “We can move forward and really improve the potential of students over the course of a school year,” said Sokol-Scott.

Swencki said the first teachers could see the proposal become a reality this summer.

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