It launched today. A superfluous program that even the idea of would have never been needed if North Carolina had not done so much damage to the teaching profession in the last eight years.
It’s called Teach North Carolina.
Remember back in May when the state superintendent printed up a lot of glossy fliers for students to “invite” them to become teachers in North Carolina? It really showed how our state is having a hard time recruiting teachers.
There are many reasons why we are losing teachers. Johnson himself should know as he is part of that problem and is propped up by those who created that problem.
Originally, it was introduced at that February 2019 private dinner that not many teachers got to attend. Mark Johnson presented an initiative that took money from the Gates Foundation, Belk Foundation, and Coastal Credit Union and pays BEST NC and Teach.org to develop a website for what Kelly Hinchcliffe on WRAL.com described as a:
“public-private teacher appreciation campaign to better align the image of the teaching profession with the fruitful, fulfilling career it is and develop a statewide teacher-recruitment system to attract the next generation of North Carolina teachers.”
The price tag for it? $750K. For what? To show “appreciation” for the teaching profession and present it as a viable option for a career in North Carolina.
And now, literally at the start of a new school year for most in a state that is having to fund this year’s public schools with last year’s figures because Johnson’s enablers will not counter Gov. Cooper’s proposals, Johnson and other “reformers” want to show how great that state is treating its teachers.
And just one look at the website shows that it is spreading the very same half-true, out-of-context information about being a teacher in NC as that glossy flier above Johnson had his personal website advertised on.
Just peruse the “Salary and Benefits” page for example.
If BEST NC can argue that the current salary schedule that a new teacher will enter with could sustain that average listed above that includes the very veteran teachers this state legislature seems to abhor, then I am all ears. But they can’t. And every person who is thinking about being a teacher in North Carolina should look very closely at the current salary schedule and see how it works and does not work for him/her.
And getting National Boards is a great thing. The problem is that the state used to pay for teachers to get it. Now, teachers have to front their own money to work on them.
Vacation time? That’s a little misleading. If people do not like that fact that teachers must abide by a 10-month contract and not a 12-month one, then they can do one thing that really is quite complicated and goes against the very fiber of the current NCGA and many in our communities: get the state legislature to send students to school for eight more weeks. Get the legislature to dismiss the tourist industry lobbyists and ask the state and local school systems to help finance the needs to allow for more school days – monies for physical facilities, supplies, resources, etc.
And benefits? Maybe BEST NC should have read followed the State Health Plan debacle this past summer. Remember this letter from our State Treasurer, Dale Folwell.
Oh, and BEST NC can explain to the new hires that they will not have health benefits when they retire. Those were taken away a few years ago.
Well, if a teacher wanted to be a principal, then that teacher will have to decide whether the principal pay plan that BEST NC rammed through the legislature in a surreptitious manner is a good thing.
AND REMEMBER, GRADUATE DEGREE PAY IS NO LONGER!
Interestingly, the state no longer funds professional development in its budget.
Teachers have student debt? But they make so much money!
How about re-institute graduate degree pay, longevity pay, and salary step increases for every year; give back due-process rights and career status; stop the cycle of never ending testing and evaluations; stop measuring schools with a bad performance grading system; actually listen to teachers in making policy decisions; stop giving money to non-transparent voucher systems and unregulated charter schools; fund state mandates; treat veteran teachers better; and bring back the Teaching Fellows Program to its original state (among other things), then…
This propaganda would never be needed.
And new teachers could know the truth about teaching in this state.