Thursday, October 9, 2014

Gov. Jim Hunt pumps up the faithful

Former Gov. Jim Hunt, North Carolina's most noted champion of public education, threw some red meat to a crowd of advocates in Charlotte this morning.

Hunt raised N.C. teacher pay from the dumps to the national average during the last of his four terms in office. So he has the credentials to talk about the state's current embarrassment on teacher pay. He gave a nod to the teacher pay raise the legislature approved this summer but pointed out that "Veteran teachers who have spent their whole life teaching our children, they received a mere pittance and lost their longevity pay."

N.C. teacher pay is below that of South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Virginia, Hunt told the MeckEd breakfast crowd. He told the story of a friend whose daughter could take a job as a first-year teacher in South Carolina paying $41,000 -- the same amount she would make after teaching in North Carolina for 15 years.

North Carolina's low pay is driving teachers out of the profession, Hunt said. The number leaving the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has nearly doubled over the past four years, he said, and enrollment in UNC schools of education has plummeted.

"Where will our future teachers come from?" Hunt asked. "Will we have enough good teachers?"

Hunt laid out Charlotte-Mecklenburg's proud history on education -- from leading the way on desegregation to helping create public school kindergarten in North Carolina -- and said education leaders need to build on that now.

He urged the community to support the quarter-cent sales tax referendum on this fall's ballot.

"You can be the best school district in America if you work at it," Hunt said.

-- Taylor Batten


JustTheFactsMaam said...

Is it too much to ask a Charlotte Observer reporter to do basic fact checking? Surely, you'd want to check into the former governor's outrageous claim rather than spout his credentials.

Here are the facts. Let's just compare the starting teacher salaries for the Charlotte Mecklenburg School system with the vaunted Fort Mill School district:


Bach(3A) $37,946.70 $33,656.00
Bach(2A) $42,492.90 $35,171.00
Masters(1A) $41,737.70 $38,537.00
Masters(7A) $46,290.90 $41,902.00

For CMS, data is for 2014-2015, taken from For FM, data is for 2014-2015, taken from As you can see, CMS teachers are well-compensated compared to the bedroom community next door. This is nothing more than election year posturing and the Observer should have called him on it.

Cheryl Cotton said...

From 1993 to 2012 there was a democratic governor, Hunt, Easley, and Perdue. Republicans took control of the NC general assembly in 2010 after over 100yrs of democrat rule. I don't recall hearing teachers blaming the governors and the general assembly as much as they are now. In fact there has only been three republican governors in the last 100+yrs. MCcory, Martin, Holshouser. Really?

Unknown said...

Is it too much for the Observer to ask Mr Hunt to pay back the state for the private bridge that was built in Wilson to service 20 cars a day to his private residence? How in the world did millions get allocated of the former Gov's bridge?
Mr Hunt is the posterboy for cronyism in the NCDOT system, and partly responisble for NC having the largest gas tax in the US.

Garth Vader said...

Wow, who'd have thought that the departure of Fannie Flono would have LOWERED the average truthiness of Observer Editorial Board posts?

kantstanzya said...

The observer is now reduced to two editors. In its attempt to be "fair and balanced" it now has a liberal and an ultra liberal. It has eliminated most of those pesky comments because many people don't want to be on Facebook. We see the same 8-10 people make comments each day.

JustTheFactsMaam did the kind of fact checking newspapers used to do in exposing the same tired Democrat arguments about everything. To them it is always about more money and never about competency or wasting the money they do have.

And in another Observer editorial today on Ebola they blame a potential health danger on...drum roll...not enough money. This was a Democrat talking point earlier in the week picked up by desperate Liberals around the country and laughed about on talk shows.Obviously Mr. Batten is on the mass email from Demo headquarters.

Ebola has been on the radar since 1976. Carter, Clinton and Obama have been President. Recent budget cuts in the last year (not really cuts but holding the line or limiting the increase) have had nothing to do with anything.

If you want to find an Ebola cure take the money paid out to the government and offer it as a bonus to private industry. There will be a cure quickly. And if you really want to improve education get the government out of that as well.

Jim Hunt was governor from 1977-1985 and from 1993-2001. 16 years!! 16 years with the now guru of public education and I don't remember the public schools scoring significantly higher nationally then than they do now.

And he was followed by the geniuses Mike Easley and Bev Perdue. You'd think after all that Democratic Party expertise during that period and indeed most of the last century our students would be #1!

But I guess that less than 4 years of a GOP legislature and 2 years of holding the Governorship has reduced what was once apparently the gold standard of American public education to a shambles.

Well you'd think so anyway reading the Observer...a fully assimilated organ of the Democratic Party.

Mark Ranier said...

Taylor Batten and cohort should not be expected to provide us with objective journalism, and they're proud of that fact. It's all about their political ideology. Along that line, it's unfortunate that a left-wing paper as the Observer should serve the people of this state who largely hold conservative values. Unfortunately again, there is no amount of customer commentary that can influence the direction of their biased editorial babble.

Redlight said...

Come on Taylor----where is your response to JustTheFactsMan?

Are these numbers factual? Your silence is deafening.

Ghoul said...

kantstanzya, the reason you see the same 10 people post via faceook is because the Observer blocks comments from people they don't agree with. Dave Enna admitted it to me, and Rick Thames is way too dumb to open an email, so he has never responded to me about it.

And lets all not forget it was Bevy Perdue those froze teachers pay so she could use the state's money to rebuild he daddy's private pier in New Bern.

Wiley Coyote said...

...facts are "funny things"...