Do any of you remember this billboard sprinkled around the state a few years ago?
It was one of the many times the NC General Assembly has tried to weaken NCAE. In this instance the Civitas Institute tried to lure teachers to “buy” back their membership through a website. It showed NCAE members how to withdraw their membership from NCAE and make $450 because that is what they would not be spending in dues.
Why would some people who support the gerrymandered powers that be in Raleigh do this?
Because they are scared of what a group of public school teachers can do when they come together and act to protect public education – organizations just like NCAE.
That alone tells me that North Carolina desperately needs the North Carolina Association of Educators. Yet there are so many other reasons.
When it came to fighting for due-process rights, against unfair evaluation systems, for better pay, for resources in schools, against vouchers, and for fully funded schools, NCAE has been a tireless leader.
And the North Carolina Association of Educators is needed now more than ever.
There’s a task force in Raleigh trying to blindly reformulate how public schools are funded.
There are more studies coming out suggesting that charter schools are increasing segregation amongst students.
There is an unfunded class size mandate that the state senate refuses to deal with.
There’s a court case in which the mostly GOP-appointed state board of education is suing the current state superintendent who is from the same party.
There’s a reduction in the budget for the Department of Public Instruction in a state that has had significant population growth.
And we need to keep fighting because if there is any voice that the North Carolina General Assembly is trying to silence, it is the collective voice of educators in our public schools. NCAE will not let that happen.
When business leaders can literally craft legislation concerning principal pay without input from educators, then we need NCAE.
When per pupil expenditures are lower now than before the recession when adjusted for inflation, then we need NCAE.
When legislators can call special sessions to craft surreptitious policies like HB13 that affect public schools, then we need NCAE.
When we have politicians bent on using vouchers and unregulated charter school growth to promote privatization, then we need NCAE.
When schools are being measured by amorphous standardized tests, then we need NCAE.
When we have a school performance grading system that does nothing more than show how poverty affects schools, then we need NCAE.
When teachers feel like they cannot speak up for schools and students because of fear of professional retribution, then we need NCAE.
It’s also nice to have the headquarters on South Salisbury Street in Raleigh.
Just a short walk to West Jones Street.