Robert Hallenbeck: Hope for teachers

January 11, 2014 

As a teacher in N.C., I have hope after two recent N&O articles for the New Year from opposite ends of the political spectrum. One article (Dec. 26) was based on an interview with Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who bucked the trend in his party and is expected to announce a multi-year plan to raise teacher pay this month.

In a Jan. 5 Point of View piece, former Gov. Jim Hunt outlined a four-year plan to bring up N.C. teaching salaries to the national average. But Hunt also pointed out: “We the people must want to do it, we must speak up for it and we must be willing to pay for it.”

Teachers this past year have taken a lot of flak for “speaking up” at our walk-ins, participating in Moral Monday protests and encouraging others to do so as well. It was encouraging to see political leaders from both sides of the aisle speaking up for us. As both gentlemen recognized, this problem cannot be fixed quickly. It was created over the course of years and will take years to fix.

Let’s all make a New Year’s resolution in 2014 to speak up, act up and get education back on track in N.C.

Robert Hallenbeck

Cary

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