Phil Kirk’s Feb. 16 letter “A positive first step for teachers” was a disappointing surprise to me.
I heard Kirk at a meeting last year speak passionately in support of the Wake County school bond issue. It was refreshing to hear him, a Republican, speak of his support for public schools and public school teachers. He praised his wife, a retired public school teacher.
I’m shocked now to read his defense of Gov. Pat McCrory’s pay raises only for new teachers. Doesn’t he think our most experienced teachers need a raise now, too? Will they stay in the profession to mentor the new teachers getting the higher pay?
Kirk said this is a first step and that we should trust more money for all teachers will come. That’s great, but what about all of the other “steps” Republican state leaders have taken to crush public schools into the dirt? Lifting class size limits, eliminating tenure and pay incentives for those with master’s degrees and the “top 25 percent” merit pay proposal are actions that disrespect teachers, not support them.
As a Republican, Kirk could go a long way denouncing state leaders’ missteps with regard to public education, rather than rushing to their defense.