NC Senate panel to hear K-3 class size flexibility bill Monday | News & Observer

The Senate Education Committee will consider Monday night a bill that school districts say is needed to prevent thousands of potential teacher layoffs and cuts in art, music and physical education classes in North Carolina elementary schools.

Source: NC Senate panel to hear K-3 class size flexibility bill Monday | News & Observer


NC Politicians rewriting the past year

I mentioned a few posts ago that Thom Tillis and Pat McCrory were featured in a ridiculous ad about a brighter future for our children. This is the beginning of the election season’s rewriting of educational history – especially those who are in office and would like to be seen in a favorable light. Claims will be made that they teachers one of the largest raises in NC history. I wrote about those raises earlier.  


To get this raise, they had to take the money from other places. 

And the budget is a mess.

The NCGA has treated teachers poorly. I could list all the ways again, but I’ve already done that. As wonderful as the start to this year has been in the school house, apart from the job itself, this has been a demoralizing year for educators. 

The NCGA needs some fresh faces. Faces that support public education. 

The transparent election-year conversion on education 

Did you know . . .

I was going to add this little tidbit to yesterday’s post about the pay of NC teachers, but I didn’t save it and couldn’t find it! Thanks to my friend Johnny for posting it today!

Why Teacher Pay Matters

Guess who the largest employer is in most counties in NC? The school system.

It is the largest employer in 64 counties.

It is the second largest employer in 12 other counties.

There is only one  (yes one) county in the state in which the school system is not in the top three employers.

If you think of a raise as an economic stimulus, more money in the pay checks of 95,000 teachers (spread out from Manteo to Murphy) will mean more middle-class people buying groceries, going on vacations, etc. And that will have a real, immediate economic impact on the state as a whole.

Teachers and raises in NC

We keep getting news of an “Average” 7% pay raise for teachers. Not knowing how many teachers are at each step, I can’t do that math easily to know if that statement is true. What I do know is that when you look at the word “Average” over 36 steps, a ton of room is left for maneuvering and posturing.

Everyone has access to our state pay scales which is why little images like this one can be made.

pay scale - side by side

Not sure that really shows what I want to highlight, so I’m using information taken from 2013-14 salary schedule and the 2008-09 salary schedule. AND of course the now famous 2014-14 proposed schedule (begins near bottom of page 50). I used year 17 for my compairson. It’s right in the middle of the NEW 4th step. 

 year 17 pay

The “raise” looks much better than last year’s salaries, but look at the numbers compared to 2008-09. Not a lot of progress, but a little. Oh, and Masters National Boards will no longer be figured off of Master’s pay, but off of Schedule A. That’s about a $500 difference a year.

Now, let’s throw in the longevity.  NC has an entire document dedicated to longevity. Year 17 teachers would make 2.25% in longevity. It has been a separate payment as a bonus. The last line of the document clearly states “Longevity pay is not a part of annual base pay for, nor is it to be recorded in personnel records as a part of annual base salary.”  For teachers, the proposal is to roll it into their monthly salary – which also means it’s no longer longevity, but shared by all. This is only for teachers, however. Even principals will continue to get their typical longevity.

year 17 pay w longevity

Based on this information, a year 17 teacher (with longevity) is still making less than they would have in 2008-09.

All this was possible because of the nearly frozen salary. I’ve said it before and I want to reiterate that I understand the economy has been pitiful. I know teachers are not the only ones with frozen salaries. I know decisions had to be made. I want my congress woman and senator to at least acknowledge they heard what I had to say when I write. (Debra Conrad and Earlene Parmon in my case. While I copied the letter into a blog, I sent it to both of them.) What I want is for our politicians to be honest with us. I want to have an honest discussion about tenure. (Which is no longer given in NC if you didn’t have it before 2012-13 school year, and you lose it if you change counties.) Don’t try to make things seem better than they are through fuzzy rhetoric and posturing and expect us not to look for the facts behind the verbiage. Oh, and take care of those older teachers financially! We need new teachers. We need their vitality and their excitement We need the older ones too. We need their wisdom and experience. I understand that I’m a public servant, but I’m thinking that maybe NCGA doesn’t get that they are too. 

gorgeous fall road in NC

I usually come home freeways and industrial route, but sometimes one of the freeways is backed up and I come home through downtown, then I hit Reynolda. This is the street that the old Reynold’s property is on. It runs by Wake Forest University. It is beautiful in the spring and the fall. The trees line the streets providing a canopy.

A couple of Friday’s ago, I took this route and reached over and grabbed my camera.