Tuesday, May 13, 2014

N.C. senator to Charlotte teacher: You've got it made

Gov. Pat McCrory’s promising teacher pay plan seems like a no-brainer, if you're an N.C. legislator. Doing so makes you a political hero. You've given a long-overdue pay bump to the people who teach most all of your constituents' children. You've helped move toward making those salaries competitive with neighboring states, which maintains the high level of education in North Carolina that businesses like to use as a recruiting tool. Plus, you've taken an issue out of the media that, rightly or wrongly, has made Republicans look meaner than the Democrats who also let teacher pay go unattended.

And yet, here comes Sen. David Curtis to show that the governor's plan isn't going to sail through the Republican-led General Assembly.

Curtis, a Republican from Denver, responded Monday to an email a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teacher, Sarah Wiles, sent to N.C. lawmakers. Wiles' email wasn't very different from what teachers have been saying for the past year about their poor pay. It was passionate but not rude, pointed but not surly. But Curtis, perhaps by accident or perhaps out of anger, hit “reply to all” when he wrote his response, which pretty much guaranteed that a lot of North Carolina would be reading it within 24 hours.

Here's the response:

From: Sen. David Curtis
Date: May 12, 2014 at 9:46:57
Dear Sarah,
I have given your e-mail titled “I am embarrassed to confess: I am a teacher” some thought, and these are my ideas.  A teacher has an incredible influence on students–for good or for bad. My teachers, coaches, and Boy Scout leaders had a great influence on my decision to go to college which was not a family tradition. My concern is that your students are picking up on your attitude toward the teaching profession. Since you naturally do not want to remain in a profession of which you are ashamed, here are my suggestions for what you should tell your potential new private sector employer:
1.    You expect to make a lot more than you made as a teacher because everyone knows how poorly compensated teachers are.
2.    You expect at least eight weeks paid vacation per year because that is what the taxpayers of North Carolina gave you back when you were a poorly compensated teacher
3.    You expect a defined contribution retirement plan that will guarantee you about $35,000 per year for life after working 30 years even if you live to be 104 years old. Your employer will need to put about $16,000 per year into your retirement plan each year combined with your $2,000 contribution for the next 30 years to achieve this benefit.  If he objects, explain to him that a judge has ruled that the taxpayers of North Carolina must provide this benefit to every public school teacher. Surely your new employer wants to give better benefits than the benefits you received as a poorly compensated teacher.
4.    Your potential employer may tell you that he has heard that most North Carolina workers make less than the national average because we are a low cost-of-living- state, private sector workers making 87% of the national average and teachers making 85% of the national average.  Tell him that may be true, but to keep that confidential because the teachers union has convinced parents that teachers are grossly undercompensated based on a flawed teachers union survey of teacher pay.
I support the teacher pay raise but am very concerned that the teachers union has successfully presented to the public a deceptive view of total teacher compensation that is simply not consistent with the facts.
Senator David Curtis

A few thoughts:

First, David Curtis represents a district that is safely Republican, as do many N.C. Republicans, thanks to our state's gerrymandered districts. It's not hard to imagine his near-certainty of re-election helping to remove any inhibition Curtis might have felt before hitting the send button on his  arrogant, condescending email.
Speaking of imagining, we can construct the same kind of employer/employee make-believe that Curtis did. Imagine you're an employer, Sen. Curtis, and you have an employee in front of you who  performs a critical job. But she hasn't received the raises she expected for several years, and that's caused her to make less than people doing the same thing in neighboring states with equally low costs of living (and retirement plans, too). She makes so little, in fact, that despite her having "paid" summers off, she has to hunt seasonal low-paying work to begin to make ends meet. Yet, apparently, you'd prefer she appreciate all her blessings and keep hanging around.

These are the arguments you'll likely hear from Republicans this week when the short session begins in Raleigh.  Some want to do as little as possible for public education, so they'll mention the fictional "teachers union," and they'll pretend, like Curtis, that N.C.'s abysmally low teacher pay is a product of union spin. The difference, this time, is that other Republicans, including the governor and strong thinkers like Rep. Rob Bryan of Charlotte, understand otherwise. The plan they've crafted is not perfect, but it's a strong step toward paying teachers better. That's not only the right thing to do for North Carolina, but it will quiet a statewide furor that's been bad for the GOP. 

Peter St. Onge


Shamash said...

"Yet, apparently, you'd prefer she appreciate all her blessings and keep hanging around."

Apparently, you misread what the Senator wrote.

He clearly wants her to leave, not "keep hanging around".

But doubts that she will find a better deal in another profession.

Bill said...

And the freefall to insure North Carolina is the most backward state in the Union continues! Watch out, Mississippi!

faithplusnothing said...
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faithplusnothing said...

I think Mr Curtis is right on! I wish I had those benefits in my job!

Aubrey Moore said...

This man is ignorant beyond belief, but unfortunately the kind of person that Republicans want representing them.

Here is some history, Senator. North Carolina is indeed a lower wage state, and much of that is because of the Chamber of Commerce, which for decades would not allow businesses into the state that wanted to raise the level of pay.

North Carolina decided many years ago that it would invest in education to change that situation, and it has worked, believe it or not. But now, rather than spread the benefits of that growth over the larger population that paid the price for it, and rather than keep investing in education, the current crop of Republicans chose to do some profit taking, give all the benefits to the few at the top and tell us how they are the ones that have made this state grow, the biggest lie ever told.

As a seventy year resident of this state with roots going back 200 years, I am ashamed of what has happened here over the last four years. It is a disgrace and a statement that we have not grown as humans in our humanity.

And you sir are the child of ignorance and selfishness, unwilling to see what is right in front of your face.

Jaxon said...

Before I react to the senator's reply I would like to see the original email titled, “I am embarrassed to confess: I am a teacher”

This comment has been removed by the author.

Wow...35K a year to retire on for the rest of their life. And after federal and state taxes, the increased cost of healthcare premiums, dental insurance, vision coverage, and medical deductibles that keep increasing with each passing year, you will actually be able to use the remaining money to help pay for the gas you use while you go and work that next job... until you die. Too bad you can earn a living doing so little as a state senator in the great state of North Carolina. Between pac and other private donations to pay for your votes, you could readily own four of five properties.. just like Mr. Black did before he was arrested on corruption charges. The only good politician is the one that gets voted out of office.

Dorothy Jackson said...

How sad for all of us in NC! We are the laughing stock of the UNION. Mississippi and SC are looking good compared to NC. We areloosing teachers in this state, don't forget that Senator.

NinerFan said...

What, no mention of healthcare benefits or 'Y-days'?

Dorothy Jackson said...

Senator Curtis, come teach a day at a low-performimg/ any school in NC, then I think you would have a better appreciation for teachers and the NEA. You and your GOP buddies need to think about all the harm(LEGISLATION)You all have placed on the lives of the people of NC. IT'S TRULY SAD...God is watching you!

Donna Lacek said...

Senator Curtis' attitude and lack of knowledge concerning the 10 month vs. the 12 month pay increments and NC having a teacher's union is concerning. This disrespect is exactly why NC WILL have a teacher's shortage in the future. I'm sure at that time they will blame each other's political party.

EuroCat said...

Aside from the fact that Curtis is an idiot, which seems to be contagious in the NC General Assembly, he's also a liar.

First, even a Master's Degreed teacher makes a salary of $53,200 after 30 years. The pension benefit is 1.82% per year of service times the average of the four highest years salary at retirement. That benefit would be .0182 x 30 x $52,210, or $28,506. Quite a bit less than $35,000, Curtis, you liar.

Also, the teacher pays 6% into his or her retirement. At $53,200, he or she would be paying $3,192 into the retirement system. Not $2,000. Liar.

Finally, the employer contribution to the retirement system is 13.12%. Therefore, the employer will be paying a maximum of $6,980 per year into the retirement system for that teacher, not "$16,000". Big fat whopper of a lie from a big fat liar.

While we're talking about state retirement benefits, somebody needs to remind Curtis that he's got his hand in the retirement cookie jar, too. And the good part? Why, NC Senators get a benefit of 4.02% per year of "service" times highest single year's salary. The teacher only gets 1.82%, and it's for the average of the highest four years.

Pretty cushy for an elected official who's supposed to be in office out of a sense of service, not greed. Right, Senator?

What a worthless specimen of "humanity" Curtis is.

Unknown said...

Ms Aubrey at 11:18am, I'm curious how much EXTRA you paid in taxes this year, and your family has in the past 200 years?
If you paid the bare min, like 100% of the country then you have no reason to complain.
There's plenty of room on the tax form to give more than your fair share. If you only owe, $2,000, why not send in $20,000 to allievate some of your heartfelt misery since the Republiancs have had to fix 150 yrs of Democratic cronyism in the once great state of NC.
No one has done less for our state than the following list of elected Demcratic officials:
Mike Easley- why did he hate teachers? He should not draw a pension given his past felony, and money should be put towards teacher pay.
Mary Essley- although not elected, is taking a pension for do nothing work that could go towards teachers pay.
Bev Perdue- why did she hate teachers?
Jim Black- why did he hate poor people so much he passed a lottery to pray on their ignorance?
John Edwards- why did he hate his wife so much?
Kay Hagan- why did she hate the middle class so much, she helped pass the health care billed that she didn't even read?

You get the picture. Keep blaming the Repups if it makes you feel better, but where have you been prior to McCrory? Why did you and your ilk allow our state to be so corrupted by one party politics, that the Dems stand very little chance of ever gaining ground outside the urban cesspool of Charlotte?

Anonymous said...


< Reply All!!! >

Olivia Morgan said...

8 weeks of paid vacation? I don't think so! We don't get paid for the summer months...that's why we're called TEN month employees! I am a second year teacher and, once again, I am scrambling around trying to find a summer job to bring in some extra money while I'm not teaching. The only healthcare that we get free is basic medical healthcare; anything extra like vision or dental comes out of our already low paychecks. I can't afford much extra, so I just have to make do and pray that nothing serious happens to me. For all of the work that we do day in and day out, teaching kids whose abilities are all over the spectrum, who have behavior and emotional problems, who have abusive parents or no parents at all, who come to us knowing no English....we deserve a hell of a lot more than we make now. (And that doesn't include all of the extra stuff we're required to do!)

DugN34 said...

WAY TO GO EuroCat!!!!! These are the kind facts that need to be shouted from dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn.

Shue Anderson said...

How can we have such ignorant and mean people in Raleigh? Hey Curtis, you must have forgotten that you benefited from the previous generation's willingness to invested in your education. From the 50s to 80s, NC was investing in people and went from having the 2nd lowest income in the US to a phenomenal growth state that reached the middle of the pack. Mainly because of investment in education and public universities. Hey Curtis, you paid very low tuition at UNC universities because the previous generation helped you out. The fact that you refuse to do the same for the next generation reveals how sad you are as a person (as if this email wasn't clear enough). You took, but are unwilling to reciprocate. Jerk.

And it is very sad that you are unaware that teachers are working second jobs to get by. And it is very sad that you do not realize that NC state employee benefits are horrible. You truly are clueless. Heck, even TN recently decided to provide free comm college to kids!! Who would have thought that NC would be more backwards than TN!

NC is forsaking the strategies that led to our past success, and we are adopting the plans of Miss and Ala. It isn't just teachers leaving this state, it is all the educated people that want to get their kids out of this state.

Very sad what is happening to NC. We are the new laughing stock of the US.

Shue Anderson said...

Yeah, the GOP has taken teacher pay to the bottom, raised class sizes, taken teacher assistants out of the classroom, lowered spending on students, raised college tuition 300% in past 5 years, and on and on and on. All to pay for a tax cut that benefited the top 1% of earners. And don't forget they eliminated the child tax credit that will hit middle and low income families. Now they have created a budget shortfall because too much was given to the rich. Guess who will cover the shortfall…..education and the middle class.

It took effort and investment for NC to pull away from the rest of the southeast that lags behind the country in income, education and economic opportunity. These clowns are quickly taking us back to the ways that produce poverty, inequality….and stupidity.

Ghoul said...

Aubrey Moore, I'm sure you would rather have the likes of Larry Womble (D) Winston-Salem representing you. You must admire the man, who worked 3 years as a teacher, then entered the political world. He made that paltry teachers salary for 3 years, then took on the state legislative salary of $14,400 per year. But how could he afford a $102,000 Lamborghini, which he subsequently wrecked, injuring himself going too fast. It couldn't be Democrat corruption that afforded him his largess?

Olivia Morgan, its good to see teachers admit they have a 10 month job, and if you extrapolated your income to a 12 month job (that would be adding 20% or you CMS graduates) that your pay would be above the medium income in North Carolina.

Kevin Kern said...

What is wrong with NC? This state is broken. Regardless of opinion's on teacher pay, that is a constituent that you represent. That's how you talk to them? This is not the NC I know. Don't teachers have to go to college? It's not like they are digging ditches. When did NC get like this. Education should be something we all work on. NC doesn't have any unions that I know of. Weird..

Wiley Coyote said...

Teachers are paid based on 195 day contract (at least the last I heard, down from 200 and proposing it to go to 187 days)

The "we don't get paid what we're worth" whining has been going on for decades and not just in NC.

I used to hear that back in the 80's in SC from my ex-wife's teacher friends (ex-wife was a teacher as well).

I have stated many times teachers should get back what they lost and then some, but I have always said that no one ever thinks they get paid what THEY think they are worth. Too bad.

I get paid for 260 work days.

Teachers get paid for 195 work days.

I also spend anwhere from 60 to 90 nights out of town away from my family making the same money as if I didn't travel so spare me the whining of how much you do after work and on weekends. I do the same as well. I don't punch a clock and work at the pleasure of the VP in my company.

So breaking it out, I work 13 more "work weeks" than you have to work or 3.1 months more (20 to 21 work days per month).

By the way. I also contribute 6% to my retirement which is only guaranteed for what I put into it and pay $752.00 Dollars per month for health insurance.

Kevin Kern said...

It's rude and unnecessary. My buddies wife teaches and she pays over 700 dollars a month for health insurance. It's 70/30 without out vision or dental. We are not in New York.

Judy Kidd said...

Get the education and apply for the job...we will see how long you last and how successful you are.

Wiley Coyote said...


I noticed your swipe at "Republican gerrymandered districts".

As with most brainwashed liberals, you have forgotten Republicans took this state in 2010 FROM Democrats with districts DRAWN BY Democrats...

Regarding the most obscene gerrymander in recent history, by Democrats, the 12th Congressional District was called "political pornography" at the time by the WSJ.

highlandangel said...

I have a question for every person on this board. Who taught you to read, write and do math?

A teacher...

I'm sure someone will post that they were homeschooled.

Did you go to college? Who do you think taught your professors?

A teacher....

Do you go to the doctor?

Who do you think they learned from?

Other doctors...who learned from

Other Teachers...

Name one profession necessary FOR EVERY PROFESSION!

Need a plumber?

Need a carpenter? Who do think taught them math?

Need a car repair? Need body work? Need a lawyer?

What about the cashier at McDonald's? Would you like the correct change? Who do you think taught them how to count?

You guessed it, a teacher...

Even our military, our brave men and women defending our county, have to have a high school diploma - how do you get that?


But being paid a fair wage to deal with: 1. children, 2. their parents, 3. taxpayers, and 4. our government, is asking too much.

“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”
― Benjamin Franklin

Shue Anderson said...

We are getting the education we are willing to pay for, which is not much of one.

If NC teachers had it so go, then why are they all leaving the profession and leaving for other states that treat their teachers so much better.

Same exodus is happening among university faculty. NC treats educators horribly, and anyone that denies it is drinking the kool aid.

ryan kormanik said...

Wiley Coyote: you may work 13 more weeks than a teacher, but take into account the hours teachers put in AFTER the final bell rings and you will be surprised how many hours they work more than you. For example: my wife is a biology teacher. After the final bell, she stays in the classroom for an additional hour to help students. Then she comes home and does another 5 hours of work. On the weekend, she will pull another 12-15 hours of work. So let's compare. Your 13 extra weeks at 8 hours/day is 520 hours. Now my wife's hours for that same 13 week period would be 546 hours (at a minimum). You try to show how much home time you lose from traveling, however, my wife loses just as much home time by working after hours. Technically, teachers are not employed for the time between school years, yet they go to trainings, "madatory" school meetings, and work on next year's lesson plans. Most teachers put in more work and effort than any private sector employee I have ever known. Since they are educating the people who will grow up to be our next legislatures, governors, presidents, scientists, teachers, etc. realistically they should be some of the highest paid employees around.
If you ask teachers, they will tell you that what they want most is what was promised when they signed up. There was a pay scale that was voted on, placed on the books and given to all teachers. Now the legislatures want to back out of that contract. Teachers have no union to fall back on to protect them and get what was promised, so how would you expect teachers to act?

Dorne said...

This same legislative genius who has such derision for teachers introduced legislation to offer OUT OF STATE optometry students from NC an $11,000 a year subsidy. Anyone like to guess what he does for a living? Anyone? You guessed it--he is an optometrist. Yep, no more money for those whiny teachers with their bloated benefits package but plenty of TAX DOLLARS for optometry students studying out of state because, well, we all know how optometrists struggle to make ends meet. Here's his bill: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/.../LoadBillDocument.aspx...

Dorne said...

This same legislative genius who has such derision for teachers introduced legislation to offer OUT OF STATE optometry students from NC an $11,000 a year subsidy. Anyone like to guess what he does for a living? Anyone? You guessed it--he is an optometrist. Yep, no more money for those whiny teachers with their bloated benefits package but plenty of TAX DOLLARS for optometry students studying out of state because, well, we all know how optometrists struggle to make ends meet. Here's his bill: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/.../LoadBillDocument.aspx...

The Observer Editorial Board said...


I never said "Republican gerrymandered districts." I said "our state's gerrymandered districts." I also did not say that gerrymandering is the product of Republicans. We've said lots that they are supported by whichever party is in power.


Kristianne Mobley said...
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Kristianne Mobley said...
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battered teacher syndrome said...

Good evening all,
Just wanted to point out a couple of things for those that don't know:
1. Teaching is NOT a 30 year gig anymore. With programs like Teach for America and New Leaders for New Schools they only want teachers in the classroom for two years then move on to something else. This was told to me by an administrator that "teaching is not a career"
2. There are teachers that qualify for public assistance programs with master's degrees because the pay scale is not enough to be able to have the basics in life like a family of more than two.

These are just a couple of things that I wanted to point out. If you are not familiar with the aforementioned programs please research them so that you know how "qualified" your child's teacher/administrators are. I am walking away from the profession because more is required of me than I am prepared to give. With policies like giving a kid a minimum 50 grade for not turning in any assignments to "not demoralize" a kid and policies like not being allowed to go to the bathroom or eat lunch alone I have no choice. I like the kids I teach a lot and frankly I love them, but I love my own child and I can't make a good life for him based on the peanuts I am being thrown. I want you to understand currently the way the state and the nation are going is as if we [teachers] are churning out tires and can just recall them when things go terribly wrong later is ridiculous. Keep experimenting with teachers and kids like they are lab rats and see if Frankenstein won't emerge.

Wiley Coyote said...

Peter, Peter, Peter...

Splitting hairs?

First, David Curtis represents a district that is safely Republican, as do many N.C. Republicans, thanks to our state's gerrymandered districts.

The "intent or tone" in your comment could be misconstrued, just as Mr. Curtis' comments to a teacher.

I'm unaffiliated, but I'll quote Obama: "Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won."

So did NC Republicans.

Even though the Observer tries to walk the thin line on redistricting and calls for "changes in the process" in the editorial "When your vote doesn't matter", I wonder how the Observer would break the state out without offending or placating any one ethnic group whining about being disenfranchised, let alone political parties....

The Observer Editorial Board said...


Not splitting hairs at all. Republicans drive policy in Raleigh right now, and many are in safe districts, thanks to gerrymandering. Same was true when Democrats were in power. (We thought it was bad then, too, and said so often.)

We've offered our redistricting solution often, too: Do it like Iowa does.


Wiley Coyote said...


According to the last study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

~ National data shows that on average teachers work fewer hours per week than people in other professions–nearly three hours a week less.

~ The data includes both time in the classroom and time spent grading papers at home. It doesn’t include vacations and doesn’t account for the intensity of different types of work.

Regarding my travel, I work more hours than any teacher due to my time spent away from my family while doing my job plus other work done at night and weekends.

It is PART OF my job just as grading papers etc. by teachers is part of theirs.

My ex-wife was a teacher so I know full well what teachers deal with. I can assure you my ex did not work 60 to 90 hours per week, got her work done, did extra for students and was a very good teacher.

As far as the they are educating the people who will grow up to be our next legislatures, governors, presidents, scientists, teachers, etc. realistically they should be some of the highest paid employees around., spare me.

One can argue that CMS' latest graduation number at 81% proves that we've done more with less and with teacher salaries as they are and have been for the past 4 years, right?

You can pay every teacher in this state $100,000 per year and there will not be any significant change in test scores, etc.

Teachers deserve to be paid a competitive wage based on this area of the country, which in NC is no longer competitive.

ryan kormanik said...

Wiley, I am a little confused. You seem to be arguing from both sides of the fence. Either you are for a salary that is competitive or you are not. Which one? Your mention of CMS graduation rate is just one example. My wife teaches in Catawba County which has a 94% graduation rate. So with that rate would you agree that they are going the extra mile to teach those future professionals better than CMS? If so, let's give all the extra salary raises that CMS can afford to Catawba County since they are doing a much better job.
How long ago did your ex teach? Was it before all the non-teacher related activities that are required of teachers that take up all their time? Was it before the mandatory training sessions that are held during their planning periods? Was it before a 20 minute lunch (which by the way is against the law)?
Regardless of what happens to teacher pay, what ever happened to teacher respect? There is no respect from the legislature, no respect from school administrators, no respect from the students and no respect from parents. School has turned into a free child care center. Better not give a student a 0 for not turning in their work. You may damage their ego so bad they will become failures in life. So let's give them a 50 instead. That will teach them about the consequences for not doing their work. Try that in the real world. Will their employers give them half their pay? Heck no, they will get fired. When did it become ok to coddle our students, but not our teachers? How can a student be prepared for college, life, and work when we don't treat them the same as when they enter the real world?

ryan kormanik said...

"You can pay every teacher in this state $100,000 per year and there will not be any significant change in test scores, etc."
Well that would be a start. However, you are correct in the fact that teacher salary is not the only factor in test scores. It starts at home. If the parents do not hold any accountability with their children, how is that the teacher's responsibility? How can a teacher be held accountable for students who are pregnant at 15, work full time jobs because their parents don't work, students with one parent or no parents, drug/alcohol use. I can go on and on, but why? Our legislatures don't care about all that. They just expect all teachers to make their students have gold stars, regardless of any outside influences. That is too much to ask for. Why is it that a students 8th grade reading test score is used as a predictor for growth in a 11th grade biology class? If you want to test growth and teacher effectiveness why not give a test at the beginning of a course and at the end of the course? Wouldn't that be a more indicative score to determine how effective a teacher is? Things like that are what have teachers in an uproar.
Watching McCrory place 24 year old, non-experienced people in high paying positions and having Tillis give raises upwards of 20% to staff members when teachers and other state employees get nothing is just plain wrong. The good-ol-system still in full swing.

Ghoul said...

What people fail to realize is there is only a finite amount of tax money out there to spend. Sure, I think we should raise teachers pay, but what do we cut to pay for it?

Remember now that Democrats ruled NC for 150 years, and it was Bev Perdue(D) that froze teachers pay. It was also Bev Perdue (D) that robbed the "Education Lottery" to pay for things like rebuilding her daddy's privately own pier and refurbishing the Governor's mansion.

Democrats have long been true stalwarts for education. Remember House Speaker Jim Black(D)? He wanted all school children to have mandated eye exams before they were admitted to school, just like they needed vaccinations. Please ignore the fact that Mr. Black was an optometrist. Oh, and a convicted felon.

Think of the "Education Governor" Mike Easley(D), who placed his friends on the state universities Board of Trustees. These Trustees then gave his wife a great job at NC State where she did great work for, well..., we are not sure what her job was since she never showed. But don't worry, she must have done it well because they then doubled her salary to $170,000 a year! Think how many teachers that could have paid! But don't worry, Mike Easley(D knew exactly what was the right thing to do because he is, er was, a lawyer. Until he was convicted of a felony and disbarred.

Democrats spent money on pet projects and wasted billions. Many of these expenditures are into perpetuity, so that money is almost untouchable, so what do we cut?

askus4 said...

Well said!!

Lynn Daniel said...

What a shame we have such a person representing citizens of our state. How disappointing.

Kevin Kern said...

I am sure there is plenty Raleigh can cut. Look around, it will not take long.

Steve said...

This has got to be one of the most insensitive, callous, disrespectful responses to a constituent I have ever seen. I bet he wouldn't have had the nerve to run this before the election but now that he's back in office, it's OK to crank up the bus and start running over people. He talks about the NC teachers union. Does he not know that it is against the law for teachers to organize in NC? And he better be glad of it.

Wiley Coyote said...


I have stated many times, including my last post, that tteachers deserve to be paid a competitive salaey, get back what they lost and then some. It's a no brainer and I've also said the legislature could have made it happen.

My problem is the incessant whining - long before the past few years here in NC and elsewhere about "what teachers aren't making".

Teaching is hard, no question about it. So is mining, working on a fishing boat, being a doctor, a nurse or even a person who has to travel for a living being away from their family. All have their high points and low points.

My ex-wife traveled 45 miles each way for nearly five years to teach in one of the poorest counties in SC. She was assaulted by a parent in one Columbia school she taught in that was 98% minority.

There were the endless "Drs. of So & So" who always had a better program that was going to revolutionize education, yet a couple of years later the program was scrapped and another one took its place.

So yes, even back in the early to later 80's, teachers were putting up with the same educrap from educrats and politicians.

By the way. Catawba County Schools has 17,300 students and is 72% White. CMS has 142,000 students and last reported count, 32% White.

ryan kormanik said...

"By the way. Catawba County Schools has 17,300 students and is 72% White. CMS has 142,000 students and last reported count, 32% White."

Here is the thing. While the figures you posted are alarming, it is a factor that the legislatures don't care about. Their idea is that all students should grow the same regardless of race, poverty level, family status, and other outside of school factors. Please tell me how that is fair for the teachers? It's ok, I'll answer for you, it's not! So now take out the percentage factors you gave, throw them out the window and let me know why Catawba County is doing so much better than CMS with less funding? Are the teachers better? Are the students better?

PaulaG. said...
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PaulaG. said...

The senator needs a gentle reality check. Maybe a family member who actually teaches in the NC school system. I am proud to say that Sarah Wiles is my daughter!

Anonymous said...

If teachers could have better pay or just teach and let the kids and kids parents make of it what they choose, which would it be?

Jenn Moore said...

Then click the link provided in the article and read it.

Autumn said...

I think before making any judgment, the original email from the teacher should be posted also.

PaulaG. said...

Quite possibly if the NC Education Lottery actually went towards education, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Claire W Helm said...

Most of the people posting here benefited from the fact that our teachers (who started working in the 40's, 50's and 60's - or earlier) took their jobs at a time when teaching was one of the very few well paying, well respected jobs that an intelligent, educated woman could take. So schools got the best of the best women, and got it relatively cheaply. Now, education competes with every other possible profession for bright, passionate, dedicated workers - male and female. But the pay and working conditions have not kept up with the challenge of attracting the best when there are so many other options for new graduates or those seeking a second career after kids have grown.

Anonymous said...

Typical reply, full of discrepancies.

All we are asking for is what we were promised when we signed our CONTRACT!

2 months PAID vacation, right. We are paid for 10 months of employment.

You expect a defined contribution retirement plan that will guarantee you about $35,000 per year for life
The average public pension in North Carolina is $22,000 per year.
From ( http://www.nctreasurer.com/ret/Active%20Employees/PensionFactSheet.pdf)

Your employer will need to put about $16,000 per year into your retirement plan each year combined with your $2,000 contribution.
How the System is Funded
* TSERS Source of Funds for year ending 12/31/2009
• Employees contribute 6% of their paychecks each pay period.
• Employer/General Assembly has contributed an average of just over 3%
for the past 7 years.
• Investment returns make up the remainder
From ( http://www.nctreasurer.com/ret/Active%20Employees/PensionFactSheet.pdf)

By the way, 6% of my salary is more than $2000! The average teacher salary is around $46,000. That would be a $2760 contribution.

Teachers making 85% of the national average.
We are among the lowest paid teachers in the country (46th). We were dead last if you factor in a 15.7% average salary decline in the decade from 2001-02 through 2011-12.
There are 22 states that have a lower cost of living than NC
Based on the cost of living, we should be paid somewhere in the middle of the range, just what we are asking for.

Stacia Porter said...

We don't have a teacher's union in North Carolina. This is a Right to Work state and 3rd party bargaining is illegal. I am only paid for 10 months of work, not 12, so I do not get "8 weeks of vacation." I get 2 months without pay. I am, however, required to take my salary over 12 months.

I have taught in NC for 6 years and still bring home $30,800 a year, or $2020 a month after taxes and retirement are taken out. I am a single mother of 3 children and mine is the sole income in my household. I live in an area where the average rent for 1000 sq ft house in a less than safe neighborhood is $800 to $1000. I challenge the Senator to live off my salary.

And this is all beside the fact that I am a professional with a college degree and deserve to be treated, and compensated, as such.