When current NCGA stalwarts came into power about a decade ago they started a plan to weaken a profession – the teaching profession.
Here is a short list of what the NCGA has done this to public schools in North Carolina:
- Teacher Pay – 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 have been 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.
- 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 reintistited, 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.
And we are working without a new budget and talks between the chambers at the NCGA so far this session have not even yielded any thing new as far as budgets are concerned.
Our schools of education have seen over a 30% decrease in teacher candidates.
More and more teachers are retiring at earlier stages of their careers than originally planned.
An interesting report appeared on nbcnews.com this past weekend talking about our nation’s teacher shortage.
It starts with this:
For the past several years, the Economic Policy Institute releases a report on what they call the “teacher pay penalty” Here is their most recent recent edition of its report on teacher pay in comparison to other college graduates before the pandemic set in.
While the national average in this given year almost hit 20%, here in North Carolina it was greater, so much that it put NC 44th in the nation out of 51.
Imagine what shortages we might have this next school year in both teachers and teacher candidates.