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Republicans are turning mathematical somersaults denying they did what they did in this legislature: take a chainsaw to public education in North Carolina.
Clearly, they don’t have the courage of their convictions. They ran for office saying they’ll cut government. Now they deny they did it, and they run for cover.
They say: Education spending went up 5 percent.  But that’s not nearly enough to keep up with inflation and growing enrollment, let alone enough to keep up with the growing demand for better education in a competitive, globally competitive and technologically advanced economy.
Think of it this way. Suppose you had a young, growing child. Suppose he grows by 10 percent of his body weight over one year. Suppose you only fed him 5 percent more. By the Republicans’ logic, he got an increase, so he shouldn’t complain. Tell the child that.
What Republicans did – and are afraid to say they did – is show their total lack of respect for teachers. To them, teachers = unions = enemies to be punished.
So they eliminated teachers’ assistants. That’s a cut. They cut class sizes. That’s a cut. They took away extra pay for teachers with masters’ degrees. That’s a cut. They shredded the Teaching Fellows program. That’s a cut. They began opening the floodgates to funnel public money to private schools and charter schools. That’s a cut. They made it easier to fire teachers for arbitrary reasons. That’s a cut. And they let teachers’ pay fall farther and farther behind their peers in other states. That’s an insult.
Most of all, they made teachers feel disrespected. Second-class. Unappreciated.
Then Governor McCrory popped up – after the session – with a scheme to pay more money to about 1,000 out of 95,000 teachers. That’s the political equivalent of a plate of chocolate chip cookies.
For 20 years, North Carolina supported, encouraged and rewarded teachers. It worked. That’s why graduation rates are up among students who started school almost 20 years ago.
You don’t have to be an education policy genius to know that good teachers are the key to good education. Everybody who had a teacher who encouraged and inspired them knows it from experience.
Now Republicans are trying a new strategy: treat teachers with contempt, not respect. There’s no way they can pass that off as smart for North Carolina.


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One comment on “Dissing Teachers

  1. dap916 says:

    One thing I have to say is that you, Gary, have developed a very good grasp of the English language and are able to formulate a very well-stated post. No, I’m not saying I agree with much of it, but it’s certainly well-stated.

    There are so many “buzz words” in that presentation I don’t know where to begin. Teachers are “disrespected”. Teachers are “second-class”. Teachers are “unappreciated”. Treating teachers with “contempt”.

    What all those words really mean is…..teachers want more money and McCrory & Co. wants to not only hold the line on teachers pay but use that extra 5% in the budget Gary is talking about here to give students better access to better materials and to give parents a better way of making school selections for their children that they see as best for them. The majority of teachers in North Carolina vote democratic. The left…the progressives…democrats…(like Gary here) have to at least put up a good fight for them to show that they’re interested in getting them more money, more benefits and “super-job security” where it’s nearly impossible to fire them regardless of their job performance. On that subject, does anyone know of any employer that gives its employees “super job security” after working for “X” number of years? I think we know why they don’t…um, it’s why we shouldn’t give teachers that either, y’all.

    Gary has made his case here on the front page for “education” (teachers). This is just another presentation in that effort. This one, though, is far better than the others….at least better put.

    Gary, you can stop posting this stuff now. The teachers know democrats and you support them getting a nice pay raise. And, you can stop trying to make the point about NC teachers making lower than the “national average”. That average is skewed in a HUGE way by the teachers pay in California and Michigan and New York and many other very large, very liberal states. I don’t think McCrory is going to kneel under, so best thing to do is to work hard for James Protzman for governor in 2016 (just joking :-).

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