Remember that this state has not had a new budget in three years, has one of the nation’s most miserly unemployment benefit systems, never expanded Medicaid benefits financed by the federal government, still maintains the lowest minimum wage legally possible, and is one of a few states to outlaw collective bargaining rights for public employees.
It also is both an “At Will” and “Right to Work” state and possesses the lowest corporate tax rate of any state that has one.
And there is fear of a teacher’s association.
Do any of you remember this billboard sprinkled around the state a few years ago?
It was one of the many times certain interest groups 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.
Well, in a time where the teacher pipeline has been drying up because of this state’s disrespect for the teaching profession, there is a new push to offer a “raise” by weakening the teaching profession even more.
The Civitas Institute and the John Locke Foundation really are one in the same: Art Pope financed, ALEC aligned entities.
This is the same entity that supplies a high number of people in the sham “indoctrination” task force to make sure that students in NC public schools do not become influenced by progressive views of society coming from teachers.
Here is a list of poeple on that task force.
15 members and of course the LT. Gov himself.
And over a third of them are directly linked to the same libertarian think tank founded by Art Pope that wants teachers to “LeaveNCAE.”
Another member, Rep. David Willis, has been featured by the John Locke Foundation.
That’s almost half of the people on the list if you include Robinson.
It is rather funny that they spend so much time and money to try and get people to not be a part of NCAE. So why do it? 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 comes 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 group 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 legislature refuses to deal with.
There is a LEANDRO court decision that the NCGA refuses to acknowledge and act upon.
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, 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.