Elizabeth Montague: A labor of love

November 27, 2013 

As the wife of a teacher, I sympathized when my daughter’s kindergarten teacher called to tell me she was leaving due to financial reasons. Was I disappointed in her? No. I was once again let down by our government.

There is something fundamentally wrong with our state refusing to pay our teachers a living wage. This same teacher, with a class of 21 students, three of whom could read at the beginning of the year, used her 11 years of experience to ensure in the first 10 weeks of school that all but two are now reading. How do we expect to keep our teachers in the classroom without paying them a living wage?

These are the people we trust with our future generations and on whom we depend to get our children into college. Yet teachers cannot afford to send their own children to college. Our society puts an overwhelming emphasis on education, yet we refuse to take care of those who are in charge of that education. At the end of the day, I wonder how much longer my own family can afford for my husband to be in a classroom, the place, just like the kindergarten teacher, he loves.

Elizabeth Montague

Raleigh

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