Monday, January 6, 2014

Gov. Hunt: Here's how to raise teacher pay

Former N.C. Gov. Jim Hunt has some good words of advice for current Gov. Pat McCrory and the N.C. legislature:

"Raise the pay of our public school teachers to the national average. Not talk about it, or vaguely promise it, but do it."

In a piece that ran in the (Raleigh) News & Observer on Saturday he outlined how to do it, using his own experience in raising teacher pay as governor nearly two decades ago.

Hunt wrote about the Excellent Schools Act he proposed in 1997 and how it got bipartisan support in the legislature and had the widespread backing of the public. "The CEOs of 15 top North Carolina businesses went to the Legislative Building and strongly endorsed it. They knew it would boost economic growth and create jobs. The bill passed overwhelmingly. We made the commitment. Then we put up the money."

N.C. business leaders have similarly touted the value of education and raising teacher pay this go around. Two months ago, leaders of a who’s who of North Carolina’s corporate establishment announced the formation of a new group which aims to make their voices heard on public education in the state. Business for Education Success and Transformation North Carolina, or BEST NC, includes such influential executives as David Darnell, co-chief operating officer of Bank of America;
C.D. Spangler Jr., former UNC president and Charlotte businessman; Ann Goodnight of SAS; Jim Goodmon, CEO of Capitol Broadcasting; Venessa Harrison, president of AT&T North Carolina; Robert Niblock, CEO of Lowe’s; and Brad Wilson, CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.counts 54 business executives as its members, and that number is expected to grow to 75. Board members include Ann Goodnight of SAS; Jim Goodmon, CEO of Capitol Broadcasting; Venessa Harrison, president of AT&T North Carolina; Robert Niblock, CEO of Lowe’s; Walter McDowell, retired CEO of Wachovia in Virginia and the Carolinas; and Brad Wilson, CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

Goodnight, a Republican, has already been pretty vocal. She aptly blasted Republican legislative actions in a July letter to the editor to The News & Observer.

“We are knowingly under-investing in our pre-K-12, community college and university students; in our teachers; and in innovative new approaches to learning,” she wrote. “This budget is an embarrassment in its lack of investment in the skills and competitiveness of its people. This is a grievous mistake.”

She's right. Not giving educators a pay boost was chief among them. McCrory and some lawmakers are talking about addressing that in this year's short session. They should do more than talk, as Hunt noted. They should fix this mistake.

They might also want to study findings of a survey by two UNC Wilmington professors published last month that show teachers feel legislative changes made last year have negatively affected public education in the state. Scott Imig and Robert Smith surveyed more than 600 teachers and administrators.

The study showed that 96 percent of the educators who participated in the survey think public education is headed in the wrong direction. Two-thirds of teachers and administrators said recent changes have negatively impacted the quality of teaching and learning in their own school. Nearly all said the failure to give teachers a raise in pay will have a negative impact on the quality of public education.

Read more here:


GEOFORCE said...

How about eliminating many of the 6 figure administration positions in schools, counties, Raleigh and Washington and giving that money to teachers.

Anonymous said...

@ Geoforce
You are correct ,if we have a budget crises how about elimating double dipping , reducing the administrative offices and or have principals also teach their subject one period a day to reduce class size and to stay connected with the realities of an everchanging learning environment of students . In Germany the principals teach their subject usually for two periods a day .

Wiley Coyote said...

Get 15 more companies who demand higher teacher pay and let them pay for it.

They should ask their low-wage employees first.

Unknown said...

How about eliminating the pensions for the past criminals who have been convicted of crimes, like Mr & Mrs Easley.
And maybe Gov Hunt and his wealthy family will pay back the citizens of NC for bascially building a private bridge on his family's estate at the taxpayers' expense. Like he said, talk is cheap.

Garth Vader said...

Per-pupil spending has more than tripled in real (ie. inflation-adjusted) terms over the past 40 years, with no improvement in student achievement. There are no - repeat NO - independent studies that find a causal relationship between spending and performance.

Shamash said...

Better pay is probably a good step towards attracting better teachers.

Once you have that in place it makes sense to raise the standards for teachers.

Then you might see a difference in education results.

But ONLY if the students (and parents) cooperate.

I still think there is more to wring out of THAT side of the education equation than the school and teacher side.

If it's better academic performance you're looking for, that is.

As things are now, too many kids aren't even taking advantage of what they are already have and what is already being spent on their education.

The teachers are mostly convenient whipping boys.

Having more teachers who teach and less administrators and such wouldn't hurt, either.

samwise55freedom said...

I am an NC conservative.. This is not New Jersey or Maryland. Teachers do not hide behind unions or have collective bargaining. We respect our teachers. They do not have awesome benefits or ask for 6 figure salaries. I am tried of teachers being used as whipping boys for our social ills. My friends wife washes her students clothes and make snack bags after grading papers all night. I expected better of Mcory.. Tillis is a typical out of state neoconservative.. He has no problem giving tax money to his cronies or using are money to build a mountain bike park. 11 years and you only make 40 being a teacher.. We can do better

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