If you needed more proof that Sen. Phil Berger is using teachers as pawns in passing his version of the budget, then here it is.
Sen. Phil Berger issued a statement today that once again wrongly casts the current debacle over the budget squarely on the shoulders of Gov. Cooper.
“This will likely be the only teacher pay raise bill that has a chance at becoming law.” Really? Of all the “mini-bills” that Berger has pushed through, he intentionally left out teacher pay? Of course he did.
“Gov. Cooper likes to use teachers as political pawns and convince them of an alternate reality in Republicans are anti-teacher.” Well, if Berger can convince this teacher that any of the following actions he and his cronies have taken are “pro-teacher,” then he is free to explain.
- “Average Raises” – Manipulated raises to make it appear that the “average” teacher salary raise is higher than “actual” raises.
- Removal of due-process rights – Teachers who are not protected by due-process will not be as willing to speak out because of fear.
- Graduate Degree Pay Bumps Removed.
- Push for Merit Pay and Bonus Pay – The bottom line is that merit pay destroys collaboration and promotes competition.
- Health Insurance and Benefits – Simply put, health benefits are requiring more out-of-pocket expenditures, higher deductibles, and fewer benefits. Legislation has also taken away retirement health benefits for those who enter the profession now.
- Attacks on Teacher Advocacy Groups (NCAE) – Seen as a union and therefore must be destroyed, the North Carolina Association of Educators has been incredibly instrumental in bringing unconstitutional legislation to light and carrying out legal battles to help public schools.
- Revolving Door of Standardized Tests – Like other states, we have too many. Such a revolving door makes the ability to measure data historically absolutely ridiculous.
- Reorganization and a Weakening of the Department of Public Instruction – It all started with HB17 that was “passed” in a special session of the North Carolina General Assembly after the 2016 elections and before the new terms began.
- Less Money Spent per Pupil – When adjusted for inflation.
- Remove Caps on Class Sizes – The math is simple: more students per teacher.
- Jeb Bush School Grading System – This letter grading system used by the state literally shows how poverty in our state affects student achievement.
- Cutting Teacher Assistants – NC has lost nearly 7500 teacher assistant jobs in the last ten years.
- Opportunity Grants – Opportunity Grant legislation is like the trophy in the case for the GOP establishment in Raleigh. It is a symbol of “their” commitment to school choice for low-income families. But it is the least transparent system in the nation.
- Charter Schools – Many charters abuse the lack of oversight and financial cloudiness and simply do not benefit students. Especially in rural areas, uncontrolled charter school growth has been detrimental to local public schools.
- Virtual Charter Schools – There are two virtual charter academies in NC. Both are run by for-profit entities based out of state. Both also have rated poorly every year of their existence.
- Innovative School District – Only one school is part of this ISD which has its own superintendent and was really was never wanted in the first place.
- Reduction of Teacher Candidates in Colleges – At last report, teaching candidate percentages in undergraduate programs in the UNC system has fallen by over 30% in the last five years.
- Elimination of Teaching Fellows Program – Once regarded as a model to recruit the best and brightest to become teachers and stay in North Carolina was abolished because of “cost”. Yes, it was reinstituted, but as a shadow of its former self.
- Class Size Chaos – It was never funded by the NCGA.
- Municipal Charter School Bill – Passed as a local bill, it now has gone statewide to literally allow for segregated schools.
- A Puppet of a State Superintendent – If someone wants to make an argument for how great a job Mark Johnson has done, then I am ears.
And that “By not signing the bill, Gov. Cooper would ensure that teachers are the only state employees to not get a raise this year” bit?
That’s some bullshit there. By making teachers the only state employees not to get a raise with all that has happened means that Berger made it so. Just to hold teachers hostage.