The passing of the latest education budget in Raleigh has taken the morale of my teaching friends to a dangerous low.
When I left Oklahoma in 2000, teacher pay was one of the five-lowest in the 50 states. This was a result of a decade-long stagnant energy economy. Now with the energy economy booming there, Oklahoma ranks much higher.
When I came to N.C. in 2000, the state was flush with revenues from “the tech bubble economy” and spending on education looked healthy with teacher pay much higher than in Oklahoma. But the lackluster economy of the past decade has caused N.C. teacher compensation to fall to dangerous levels.
The state or country that most effectively optimizes its human resources will have a long-term competitive advantage. We need to have a vibrant and motivated public school teacher population in order to make North Carolina attractive to new corporate residents.
The intellectual infrastructure of this state is eroding away. Public school teachers need an immediate raise at the expense of corporate tax credits.
The N.C. legislature and the governor need to be creative!
Jack De Veaux