NC Education- What’s at Stake?

Hi Readers!

Welcome back and thanks for checking in! I will be continuing the discussion that I started last Friday on the current debates within the North Carolina legislature regarding salary increases that affect the public school teachers around the state.  If you missed last week’s blog, check it out here. The long debate, which began in early 2015, has finally come to a conclusion between lawmakers and legislative officials.  With a spending plan that was supposed to be finalized back in June 2015, the wait is finally over for teachers and school officials but the results aren’t the best.

According to a recent article following the debate, “after months of delays and negotiations between the House and Senate, the state’s $21.74 billion budget will become law Friday with Gov. Pat McCrory’s signature”. (The News & Observer) The bill was passed in a final 81 to 33 vote by House.  While the bill reserves 57 percent of the $21.74 billion dollar budget- a number that seems high- teachers will only receive about $750 dollars in pay raises with starting salaries increasing to $35,000, a figure that remains far below the national starting average of $44,900.

So what’s at stake? What do these low paying salaries mean for the future of teaching in NC? With poor compensation comes teaching careers that no longer appeal to individuals who would have otherwise made excellent teachers.  It also means that the amount of teachers-both young and veteran- who leave their professions to either teach in other states with higher paying salaries or leave the profession all together increases. In fact, in a recent article by the Department of Public Instruction, more teachers are leaving North Carolina to teach in other states with the report indicating that 1,082 teachers left last year for other parts of the country- a figure that tripled since 2010. As more top quality, experienced teachers leave and less come in to take their place, the quality of education throughout the state gets put at risk which then affects the education outcomes of the students.

What are your thoughts on this popular topic? Why are teachers seemingly unappreciated and underpaid in North Carolina?  I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions so please share below!

Happy Friday!

-Girl 3

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The Debate for Salary Increase

Dear Readers,

Happy Friday! Thank you for stopping by and seeing what’s new! As mentioned in my post from last week, which you can access here [Salary Injustice], I will be discussing the recent debate in the Senate and House regarding an increase in annual salaries for public school teachers.  As North Carolina consistently remains among the lowest in the nation for teachers’ pay, it is no surprise that the Senate and House are finally working towards a pay increase. But will it be enough? As discussed last week, the average salary received in NC is $47,783 which remains $10,000 below the national average. While this pay may seem sufficient, most teachers are also asked to purchase teaching supplies every year. Is this fair? Should teachers really have to provide all supplies while working on a much lower national salary? I certainly don’t agree. Let’s take a look at the proposed changes to come.

As one recent article stated, teacher pay is a major piece of the state budget now under debate – and has emerged as a potent political issue in recent years as the state has moved to increase pay for teachers in relation to other states (The News & Observer).  Currently, both the Senate and House proposed a two part change which includes a pay increase at most levels and a gradual or “step” increase which allow teachers to move up on a year plan.  While both agree that teachers across the state need a pay raise, there are disagreements regarding the amounts.

According to an article on the NC Policy Watch website, the Senate plans to spend considerably less than the House on teacher pay raises with the bulk of the new funding targeted towards early career teachers.  The highest percentage salary increase would go to a teacher with four years of experience, while veteran teachers with more than 25 years’ experience would see no raises at all.  Their salary would be capped at $50,000. Overall, the pay increase would reach between a 12.8 to 16 percent change- an amount that may not be sufficient in the long run.  While any pay increase is better than nothing, I believe it is unjust to only provide pay increase for teachers with less than 25 years experience. The pay increase should be standard across the board.

As this topic is very broad and composed of many moving parts, I will continue discussing it next week.  In the meantime, what are your thoughts with this current issue?  Should teachers across all levels see a pay raise or should they limit it to “early career teachers”?  Please leave your comments below and feel free to include suggestions! Thanks for reading!

Article Links:

  1. NC Policy Watch

2. The News & Observer

Welcome to my blog!

Teacher Salaries in North Carolina

Hello and welcome to my first blog! While I expect this experience to the challenging, I am excited about sharing my discoveries and opinions with you over the next few weeks. As a college student embarking on improving my own education by achieving my nursing degree, the quality of the education system throughout North Carolina and the low annual salaries that the teacher receive matter to me. Therefore, I have teamed up with four colleagues to from the 5Girls4Education group. Our mission is to focus on the many aspects of education throughout North Carolina.

In my blogs, I will centralize around the low annual salaries that high school teachers in North Carolina face compared to the national averages and discuss the effects it may have the quality of education and the projected job growth of teachers in the state. In my opinion, the overall quality of the education in high schools across the state will suffer due to the lack of funds, the lack of respect for teacher’s hard work and a decrease in motivation caused from the lack of sufficient salaries. I will also focus on the projected growth rate of new teachers in North Carolina over the next 5 to 10 years and the impacts already seen in the 2013-2014 school year with a turnover rate of 14.12%, according to the executive summary found in the North Carolina Turnover Report. This means that teachers throughout North Carolina are unhappy, for various reasons, and are choosing to seek work elsewhere. While there was a six percent salary raise last year, many teachers still feel unjustly paid and taken advantage for. It is for these reasons I will embark on a mission to discover why North Carolina has one of the lowest national average salaries for teachers and what may happen if this does not change or improve soon.

Quoted Website: NC Teacher Turnover Report 2013-2014

Charter Schools- Introducing my topic and myself

With a main topic pertaining to education, the subtopic of charter schools interested me the most because it relates to my own life. Growing up in a charter school, my entire school career revolved around this school system, not knowing how other schools operated. I learned the ins and outs of the school and the difference between charter schools and other public and private institutions. Attending a charter school made me who I am today, and I want the state of North Carolina to become more familiar with charter schools, potentially increasing the demand for these schools. If more people knew what they were, there would be more families aiming to get their children into a school that acts like a private school, but is free for all students like public schools. Charter schools pull aspects of private schools and public schools to create a system, while still integrating many characteristics of their own. Even though I am very familiar with many aspects of charter schools, I intend on finding more information pertaining to them, and new bills or laws that are geared toward these schools because they tend to often be neglected. With the increasing number of charter schools, they are becoming more commonly known and favored by certain people, but still not as preferred as other schools. Charter schools operate on a different bases than other schools do, being lottery based instead of districted, receiving less government funding, and having smaller class sizes. In coordination with this, often times teachers in charter schools are not qualified to teach the subjects they might be teaching, but that doesn’t mean the students aren’t getting the same education that students in other schools are getting.

Girl 1