State Board of Education member John Tate wants the board to back a resolution to bring teacher pay in the state to the national average.
Tate sprung his proposal on the board this week, calling teacher pay "flat pathetic." Teachers and state employees received one 1.2 percent raise in the last five years.
After years of concerted efforts to raise teacher to the national average, North Carolina was ranked 25th in 2008 by the National Education Association. The state has slipped since then, and is close to the bottom of national rankings.
"I feel like we have to send a message to our teachers as soon as possible," Tate said.