One bit that isn't being publicized right now is part of the plan to pay for this is to take away longevity pay for teachers. Up until now, teachers (and I believe most other state employees) receive a bonus every year once they have reached ten years of service. This budget takes that away from teachers (to help fund the raise). Other state employees will not lose this benefit.
The raise is geared towards the teachers with fewer than ten years experience. Veteran teachers (like myself) with 20+ years of experience will see little increase from what I'm told. I haven't seen the salary schedule yet.
A little history (and I'm going by memory here so the years are a little off)... In the late 90's teachers in NC were ranked in the mid 40's nationally, about where we are now. Governor Easley and the GA put together a comprehensive plan to make NC teachers paid at the national average within 5 years (I believe). We got very close but don't think we ever made it quite there, but the raises were substantial.
Since then, and especially in the last 6 years the salary rank has plummeted.
Since I've been teaching, class sizes have increased in the public schools.
Teaching assistants are sorely needed in the high schools to do everything from modified testing, pulling records for students, helping with technology (switching out computers that don't work, etc.), and especially to work with exceptional children. In the elementary schools, they are needed even more. There is no way a teacher can work with 30 students of varying levels and give each of them the attention they deserve on a daily basis. You have kids with learning disabilities in the same class as advanced kids...some get left behind, some don't get challenged....
And those assistants often are bus drivers as well by the way. Good luck paying someone to drive school buses for three hours a day but not allowing them to work as a teacher assistant.