A few Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools staff members say the teaching shortage may worsen if a new state licensing and compensation proposal takes effect.

The proposal is called North Carolina Pathways to Excellence for Teaching Professionals

The state’s current salary schedule offers increases for years of experience and education level. This new system would focus on outcomes like test scores, evaluations, and student surveys to bump a teacher’s pay.

The draft plan is still being developed by a coalition of education leaders in the state with a goal of ending teaching shortages. But during the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education meeting on Sept. 13, some said it would have the opposite effect.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Michele Jordan said she would leave teaching if the state adopts a system that would make teachers “jump through hoops” for pay.

“You think we have vacancies right now? Just wait until that passes. And I know that's not on some people's radar, but it needs to be on everyone's radar,” Jordan said. “Like we need everyone advocating. We need our district staff advocating. We need all of us because this is going to be the nail in the coffin.”

Board Member Elisabeth Motsinger echoed her sentiments later in the meeting, and said the district should be having conversations with the state about this proposal. 

“I think we will lose a lot of teachers should that happen,” she said. “If we think we have a problem now? We will have a catastrophe.”

As of Sept. 13, the district had 37 classroom vacancies and 38 teacher assistant vacancies.

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