The public education crisis in North Carolina has reached epidemic proportions and continues to get worse. Legislation has passed that will further deplete an already chaotic situation. State government has decided to continue a pay freeze on teacher’s salaries (6 years running), eliminate thousands of teacher assistants, eliminate master’s pay, remove the cap on class size, and get rid of tenure.
For those of you unfamiliar with the situation in North Carolina, these cuts come from a state where teacher’s salaries were already ranked 46th out of 50 states and student test scores are comparable to Latvia’s. Gov. Pat McCrory has made the statement that “elections have consequences.” I guess he is insinuating that the reason he and his Republican friends, who know control the state legislature, were elected because the constituents wanted them to further erode an already failing public school system. As a fellow Republican I can assure you that is not why they were elected.
I don’t understand why Mr. McCrory believes being a Republican means you are anti-public schools. If he wants to talk about school choice, vouchers, or merit-pay, those are debatable issues, but acting as if teachers are overpaid and making their lives more miserable by cutting any small benefits they have in a state that is already a bottom feeder in terms of teacher treatment is deplorable. That IS NOT what Republicans stand for!
Do you think highly trained, well qualified, elite performing teachers are going to teach in this state? Hundreds have already left the state or profession even before these cuts. This will only drive out those left hanging on. Who do think is going to replace them? North Carolina has experienced teacher shortages for years. Their answer to the problem has been to let anyone with a degree enter the classroom, and THEN send them back to school to train them. As long as there is a warm-body in the class, it’s OK. Meanwhile, children across the state are the guinea pigs as their test scores plummet to third-world levels.
Mr. McCrory talks about the job growth he is going to create in this state. Who does he think are going to fill these jobs? Students who are graduating High School with an eighth-grade reading level. Students who need to be sent to remedial classes before they can enter college, if they can get in at all. Then we will hear about how the schools are failing our children. Teachers are not doing their jobs. Of course not because all the good teachers are no longer in the profession. They’ve taken their talents to professions where their talents are financially rewarded and they are treated with respect.
Mr. McCrory it is not your fault North Carolina public schools are an embarrassment to this country because they’ve been that way long before you took office, but all you’ve done is make a bad situation worse. This beautiful state filled with many wonderful people deserves a system of education they can be proud of.