North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is expected in January to propose a multiyear plan to increase teachers' salaries -- part of his push to make the state's educators the highest paid in the nation, as indexed to the cost of living. Currently, the state's teacher salaries average $45,947 -- 46th in the nation. "I think we have to get (the pay) issue off the table so we can deal with other issues. It is the starting point" to tackling the issue of teachers' morale, he said.