Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber urges better pay for teachers

Jun. 16, 2014 @ 10:46 AM

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce announced this morning that it supports prioritizing education funding and increasing teacher pay, just ahead of the N.C. House and Senate votes to finalize a budget.
In the statement, the chamber identified a “strong link between education and economic success.” It also highlighted the positive impact teachers have on student achievement.
Aaron Nelson, president and chief executive officer of the chamber told The Herald-Sun that over the past month, the board and the chamber have been growing support for increasing funding to education and teacher pay, but as legislators go in to budget negations this week, they wanted to make a formal announcement.
Its support comes on the heels of the Durham Chamber of Commerce’s announcement Thursday. However, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro statement differed slightly from Durham’s as it did not offer any specifics as to where the money should come from.
“We are not commenting on where (legislators) should find the funds,” Nelson said. “It’s up to them.”
Nelson said having a public education system that is well funded helps build the economy.
“We know for our economy to be successful we must have a robust talent pipeline,” he said. “We must have a work force that is equipped to survive in this economy.”
And to survive, he said there has to be a good education system with competitive pay for teachers.
“We have to pay a better wage,” he said.
In the statement, Chamber Board President Chris Barnes said funding education at all levels is “of the highest priority.”
“We hope that the North Carolina General Assembly remembers that an educated workforce is essential to creating a thriving economy and that that belief is reflected in the final budget that is approved,” he said.
Nelson urged the General Assembly to pass a budget before it adjourns for the summer.
“We want them to adopt the budget before they recess,” Nelson said. “Let’s adopt a budget with a teacher pay increase and that properly funds education at all level.”