Monday, 16 July, 2018

Republicans pledge teacher raises ahead of Wednesday's rally in Raleigh

Credit Pixabay- Wokandapix via Creative Commons Credit Pixabay- Wokandapix via Creative Commons
Ellis Copeland | 16 May, 2018, 15:01

Instead of going to school that day, thousands of teachers plan to attend a rally in Raleigh to protest their pay and working conditions. Commentaries about education and teacher-led actions have dominated opinion pages in newspapers around the state.

Educators say they will focus on a host of public education issues Wednesday-including overall school funding, classroom supplies, infrastructure, and, of course, teacher pay.

"We are on the right track, and I am pleased teachers will receive another raise next year". Whereas 66 percent of students in Durham Public Schools were eligible for free and reduced lunch, only 7 percent of CPSC students were eligible for the program. We petitioned the state to become the first charter school to give weighted lottery preference to economically disadvantaged families.

Peacock: We used to have teacher assistants, K-through-3.

The North Carolina Association of Educators is advocating for increasing per-pupil spending to the national average of about $11,000, a more robust compensation package for educators, improving health support by adding school nurses and expanding Medicaid, approving $1.9 billion in bonds to pay for school construction, and stopping corporate tax cuts.

North Carolina has proved to be particularly onerous for my former students. That's 32 days and when you do the math that equals about $53 per day.

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"Despite these facts, we know, there's a lot of politically motivated rhetoric and misinformation out there", Republican Senator Phil Berger, president pro tempore, said at a news conference on Tuesday.

However, a nonpartisan report this year from the National Education Association (NEA) calculated that teacher pay plunged more than 9 percent when adjusted for inflation from 2009 to 2018, the lion's share of that time spent under dominant Republican majorities.

As many as 80 schools will be closed on Wednesday from at least 37 school districts, including some of the state's largest like Wake, Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Guilford County. It also would make them happier, which is good for everyone, including our children.

Tammy Sawyer, a spokeswoman for the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools, indicated a few teachers from the district are planning to attend the rally, but ECPPS officials aren't expecting any disruption to the school day. It's one thing for CMS Superintendent Clayton Wilcox and the school board to voice their support for employees. But many teachers contend the pay is still too low. For instance, a teacher with five years experience and a bachelor's degree earns a base salary of $38,300, while a teacher with 15 years experience with the same and a bachelor's degree earns a base salary of $45,550. The possibility of this protest and assembly making any sort of desired impact on legislators appears remote.

Senator Jeff Tarte from Cornelius says he will be meeting with several teachers who travel to Raleigh this week. There could be a semantic argument that Wednesday's presentation by teachers would be "union activity".

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