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Teachers Will Get 6% Raise Next Year – We’re Not Done Yet!

Teacher pay numbers2

Increasing teacher pay has always been one of Rep. Scott Stone’s top priorities as a legislator.

“One of the reasons I ran for the North Carolina House of Representatives was because I wanted to help North Carolina’s K-12 educational system become one of the best in the country,” said Rep. Stone. “We still have work to do, but we have made great progress.”

As a member of the House K-12 Committee, he will continue to fight for policies which help our students, and investments which support our vital teachers. As a CMS parent – his youngest daughter will graduate from Ardrey Kell in a few weeks – he is committed to being an advocate for our public schools.

NC Teachers Are Getting a 6.1% Raise Next Year

In a few weeks Rep. Stone will keep his promise to North Carolina teachers by voting for the planned budget in the upcoming Short Session of the General Assembly. While there is a planned “teacher work day” on Wednesday, May 16th on the opening day of the legislative session, teachers should rest assured knowing that there is a 6.1% salary increase already planned for the 2018-19 school year. House and Senate Republican leadership has already confirmed their commitment to these planned raises.

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Numbers, Numbers, Numbers…

Since Republicans took control of the General Assembly in 2011, there has been considerable investment in education. Based on the projected budget for 2018-19, we are forecasting a total investment of $9.425 billion in K-12 education. This is an increase of $2.142 billion since 2011.

A few key statistics about funding:

– Almost 40% of our state budget goes to K-12 education.

– 63.1% of a NC school district’s budget comes from the state – only 25.8% comes from the local government. This is a high number as the national average is only 45.8%. We are 10th in nation in terms of percentage of funding coming from state.

– The average teacher salary in North Carolina in 2018-19 will be $53,600.

– The median teacher salary in the U.S. by state is $54,846.

– Since 2013, North Carolina teachers have seen an average pay raise of $8,600 or 19%.

– Because of how we changed the “step” increases for most experienced teachers – by getting them higher salaries more quickly – the lifetime earning potential of a North Carolina teacher since 2013 will increase by $233,000.

– 44,647 teachers have received a pay raise of at least $10,000 since Republicans took control of General Assembly.

– In 2011 under Democratic control North Carolina was ranked 45th in nation in teacher pay.

With the projected average salary of $53,600 in 2018-19, and compared to the 2018 National Education Assocation estimates for states, North Carolina could get to as high as 28th in national rankings.

k-12 funding to 18-19

Some of the protest organizers from the NCAE will compare North Carolina to Oklahoma and West Virginia, where teacher demonstrations led to pay increases. Here is the difference:

– Oklahoma was 50th in the US in teacher pay with ’16 to ’17 salaries staying flat, and ’18 projected to be less than 1% increase.

– West Virginia was 49th with a slight decrease from ’16 to ’17 and only 0.2% projected increase for ‘18.

NC had the 2nd fastest salary growth from ’16 to ’17 and #1 in salary growth from ’15 to ‘16.

NC ’18 – ’19 salaries will increase again by another 6% 

We are not Oklahoma or West Virginia. We don’t need protests to force us to make investments in teacher pay. We have already done it and are continuing to do it. We made the commitment willingly and will continue to honor our commitment to our teachers.

For more numbers on education, see the links:

www.dpi.state.nc.us/docs/fbs/resources/data/highlights/2018highlights.pdf

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4443932-NEA-teacher-pay-rankings-2018.html

Rep. Stone Protecting Assisted Living Seniors

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State lawmaker pushing to protect seniors in assisted living facilities from major price hikes

By: John Paul  WSOC-TV

WATCH STORY HERE

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A state legislator told Channel 9 Tuesday there are loopholes in North Carolina that let assisted living facilities take advantage of seniors by hiking prices or even kicking them out.

Laura Gaska knows all too well how much power assisted living facilities have. Her mom, Carol Ann, is in her 80s and lives at a private-payer facility in south Charlotte.

Recently, Gaska learned her mother has to pay more if she wants to stay.

“It disturbs me and it disturbs my mom,” Gaska said. “She went up $1,100 per month on top of everything else, so she’s at $8,100.”

Gaska showed Channel 9 the contract that says the price could go up if her mom needed extra care.

But the price hike was a surprise because her care hadn’t changed, so she hired a lawyer.

“They were eventually able to come back and say it was due to level of effort,” Gaska said.

The center said the hike was because the staff was working harder to care for her mom.

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State Rep. Scott Stone said the contracts are too subjective.

He said he has heard a number of complaints from people in the same situation.

“They are taking advantage of the most vulnerable, both physically and financially,” Stone said. “We’ve all got to agree that the actual care you’re giving is what I’m paying for and what I’m getting.”

Stone is working on legislation that would do just that and make it harder to discharge a senior.

Currently, facilities only have to give them 30 days before sending them somewhere else.

“They’re fearful of complaining; objecting to some of the things or questioning the costs because they don’t want to be discharged,” Stone said.

The proposed bill is in the works. If it doesn’t make it for the short session next week, Stone said he will keep pushing.

The latest numbers showed that in 2016 there were nearly 4,000 complaints about assisted living facilities in North Carolina.

https://www.wsoctv.com/news/local/state-lawmaker-pushing-to-protect-seniors-in-assisted-living-facilities-from-major-price-hikes/746058883

North Carolina Posts a $356.7 Million Surplus

IMG_20170603_132552_processedHouse and Senate leadership announced a $23.9 Billion budget deal which in includes another significant raise for North Carolina teachers. The budget deal sets the spending limit, but detailed appropriations will come during the short session which will start next week.

Through the tax cuts of the past few years, and fiscal discipline, North Carolina will have a $356.7 Million surplus for 2018, and a projected surplus for 2018-19 of another $276.5 Million.

https://apnews.com/029877b55f064eca8937fcf642f57afa

Charlotte to Host ACC Football Championship through 2030

The ACC announced today a 10 year commitment to hold its Football Championship game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

17_18_FBL_FCGInCLT2030_1920x1080“Charlotte has been a tremendous home for the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game and we’re pleased to announce the Queen City as our championship destination through 2030,” said John Swofford, ACC Commissioner. Read Details Here

The championship games recently played in Charlotte have been sell-outs. College football conference championship games have not always drawn big crowds. Charlotte’s geographic location for ACC schools, the city’s appeal for fans travelling, and the growing strength of ACC football programs, have combined to make the Queen City an ideal location for the annual event.

“Charlotte is a premier destination for sports fans to spend a weekend,” said Rep. Scott Stone, who represents part of Charlotte in the General Assembly. “The hospitality of our community, coupled with the large volume of hotels and restaurants near Bank of America Stadium, make it an ideal setting for this event.”

North Carolina One of Best Prepared States for a Future “Rainy Day”

Carolina Journal reports that North Carolina is one of the best prepared states in the country to face a future recession or unexpected financial strain. According to the Pew Charitable Trust, which tracks states’ financial policies, North Carolina has set aside money in a dedicated savings account so that it could run for a full month only on this savings.

rainy day

The General Assembly has continued to exercise fiscal restrain in the past several budget cycles and continued to set aside more money into its Rainy Day Fund. In 2017, North Carolina became one of six states during to reform its rules concerning the reserves. House Bill 7 passed the House 110 – 3. Key components of HB7 requires state budgets to set aside 15% of revenues for the state’s savings. It also requires use of certain funds to require a 2/3 majority vote of the legislature.

Read more: https://www.carolinajournal.com/news-article/n-c-better-prepared-than-most-for-rainy-day-report-says/

Rep. Stone on Capital Tonight Talking School Safety, Governor’s Never-Ending Law Suits

Rep. Scott Stone of Charlotte joined Democratic Sen. Floyd McKissick of Durham, and moderator Tim Boyum on Spectrum News 14’s Capital Tonight. WATCH HERE

Capital Tonight - 3-8-18 b

Rep. Stone highlighted the need to address the broader issue in our schools of mental health. He cited the tragic statistic that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for high school aged teens. According to the CDC statistics, at a rate of more than 10 per 100,000, people age 15 – 24, commit suicide annually. Rep. Stone cited the need for access to mental health resources for teens and compared the cost of seeing a doctor for physical ailments, which could come through a $20 co-pay with insurance, is inconsistent with a single meeting with a mental health professional which could cost $175 per visit.

Governor Cooper’s Fascination with Lawsuits 

Rep. Stone cited Governor Cooper’s unwillingness to work with the legislature as a key reason he goes to court on so many issues. “He was attorney general for 16 years but has been in court more times in the past 12 months than he ever was as attorney general,” Stone said. One of Governor Cooper’s latest lawsuits has to do with the state Elections Board, which the General Assembly established to be an equal number of Republicans and Democrats. The legislature recently in passing HB90, in response to the myriad of lawsuits from Gov. Cooper and liberal activist groups, added a 9th member to the Board of Elections, who is required to be an unaffiliated registered member. Voters registered as unaffiliated are currently the fastest growing block of voters in North Carolina.

Capital Tonight - 3-8-18

http://spectrumlocalnews.com/nc/charlotte/capital-tonight-show/2018/03/08/capital-tonight-march-8

Teacher Pay Now Over $50k

NC Teacher Pay 50k

For the first time in the history of North Carolina, average teacher salaries are now more than $50,000 per year. This comes as a result of 4 consecutive years of pay increases approved by the Republican-led General Assembly.

Representative Stone is proud to serve on the House K-12 Committee.

Read more: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article203422734.html

 

Class Size Challenges – Time to Focus on Facts

Senator Dan Bishop and I have spent a significant amount of time over the past few weeks and months trying to understand the details of class size requirements. The issue is not as simple as parents, and even some principals, are being told. It is complicated by a convoluted funding system that has existed for decades with multiple modifications over the years.

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My goal is to focus on facts so that administrators, teachers, parents, and elected officials can begin to have conversations about policies and priorities. The emails parents have been receiving from outside groups – and from your own PTAs and schools – have been misleading and don’t identify all of the challenges.

As we try to understand all of the details of the funding and recent legislation, as well as the associated impacts, there have been many people who have tried to politicize the issue. That has caused additional challenges to the process of trying to chart the best path forward.

I am committed to ensuring that every dollar allocated to our schools is spent wisely while also working towards maximizing the educational opportunities for every student, both in our districts and across the state.

Facts from our Research: HB-13 and Other Distracting Issues

The emails many parents received from outside groups have been very deceiving. While there are a variety of issues with the past legislation which are presenting challenges – these including funding, space constraints, and others – the information presented a significant misunderstanding of facts. Here are some facts:

- HB13 did not change any language in law regarding class size requirements. Language is exactly the same as 2013 language. The 16 – 18 class sizes are required averages across the entire district, not across an individual school. Maximum class size in the law is actually 3 more than the funded average teacher – student ratio:

K – 1:21

1st – 1:19

2nd, 3rd – 1:20

– HB-13 only added some reporting requirements for superintendents and delayed implementation of class size requirements (for 3rd time) until 2018-19 school year.

– HB-13 (the final version which became law) passed with wide bipartisan support (Passed Senate 48 – 1, Passed House 112 – 3) and was signed into Law by Governor Roy Cooper.

– You have also been told that class size reductions are an “unfunded mandate.” That is also not true, but the funding piece is complicated, and we will try to explain in a future email. Funding was added for class size reductions for all school districts for Grades K-3 for the 2014-2015 school year, and added again for Grade 1 for school year 2016-17. From what we can find, those reductions have not occurred despite the funding. However, to be fair, there is still many conflicting funding issues which exist, so we are not yet prepared to declare this issue settled.

Running Out of Time?

There was a sense of urgency place upon you through these emails because the General Assembly was in Special Session last week. The class size issue was never on the calendar to be addresses last week, although many conversations took place among Members.

We do understand that the clock is ticking because school boards must get their budgets to County Commissions by May so planning can begin for the 2018 – 19 school year. Rest assured that we are continuing to work on this issue and we are likely to be back in Raleigh – perhaps multiple times – before May.

Ed Matters Banner

NATIONAL REVIEW: North Carolina’s Tax Cuts Are a Model for the Nation

The North Carolina General Assembly has orchestrated an unprecedented financial turnaround that has become a model for the United States. We have shown that reducing taxes which made us competitive with other states, reducing the burdens of regulations, and controlling spending, have led to budget surpluses, job announcements, and a bright future.

Capture - National Review - Tax CutsRep. Scott Stone serves as a member of the Finance Committee of the NC House and continues to ensure that North Carolina remains competitive and the state-of-choice for job creators.


North Carolina’s Tax Cuts Are a Model for the Nation

by Donald Bryson         December 14, 2017 4:00 AM

By cutting taxes and restraining spending, my state jumpstarted its economy. Others should follow suit. Recently, the Washington Post offered readers a “peek into a world after a massive tax cut” — a visit to Alamance County, in my home state of North Carolina, where reporter Todd C. Frankel rode along with factory owner Eric Henry. Henry, whose T-shirt-manufacturing company “almost went belly-up in the in the mid-1990s,” said he’s been doing well in recent years and his business is growing. This summer, he had his best production month ever and gave a bonus to his employees. But, he said, he didn’t know people who benefit from North Carolina’s tax cuts.

I’d say he should look in the mirror. The truth, somewhat obscured by the article’s anecdotes, is that millions of North Carolinians like Eric Henry and his workers have steady jobs and live in a more prosperous economy because of North Carolina’s tax cuts. Just five short years ago, our economy was floundering and unemployment hovered around 10 percent. Since then, we’ve added 245,000 people to our labor force and the unemployment rate has been slashed almost in half. That’s a whole lot of folks who are better off now than they were then. And there’s no doubt that their improved fortunes are attributable to our tax cuts.

READ FULL NATIONAL REVIEW ARTICLE: HERE 

 

Pineville Bridge Now The Richard Sheltra Bridge

Pineville Fire Department Engine 73  is named in honor of Richard Sheltra whose badge number was 73.

Pineville Fire Department Engine 73 is named in honor of Richard Sheltra whose badge number was 73.

It was a bitter-sweet day in Pineville as the friends, family and fellow firefighters gathered to honor fallen firefighter Richard Sheltra who died in 2016 while battling a fire. Tears and smiles were on the faces of Sheltra’s family as they stood looking at the sign commemorating his service and heroism.

Rep. Scott Stone joins Mike Sheltra, father of fallen Pineville fire fighter Richard Sheltra, for the official naming of the Richard Sheltra Bridge.

Rep. Scott Stone joins Mike Sheltra, father of fallen Pineville fire fighter Richard Sheltra, for the official naming of the Richard Sheltra Bridge.

“It was a privilege to help shepherd this application through the NCDOT approval process,” said Rep. Scott Stone. “This is not an honor the state of North Carolina takes lightly, but it is a fitting tribute to a man who died in service to his community.”

Richard Sheltra's father views the sign honoring his son.

Richard Sheltra’s father views the sign honoring his son.

The event was the culmination of activities over the past year which honored Richard Sheltra’s service. His name was recently added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Maryland and the Pineville Fire Department has dedicated a fire truck in his honor. Engine 73, named for Shetra’s badge number, will permanently recognize the heroism of their fallen brother.

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Firefighter Richard Sheltra

Firefighter Richard Sheltra