Kenille Baumgardner: Incentives lacking for teachers

April 21, 2014 

I read with interest but not surprise the April 18 news article “ Wake teacher exit rate spikes.” What did surprise me were the ridiculous statements by State House Speaker Pro Tem Paul Stam.

The idea that Wake County Superintendent Jim Merrill would make up numbers is ludicrous. Stam must be from some other planet or some other century if he doesn’t see the connection to no significant salary increase in eight years, no tenure, increased workload and increased class size.

With veteran teachers leaving or retiring early, the idea of giving a salary increase only to new teachers is beyond stupid. Seasoned teachers are mentors by providing guidance, expertise and knowledge to young teachers. Even now too many young teachers leave the field after a few years. To further punish these veteran teachers by giving monetary incentives to teachers with little to no experience can only increase the crisis of teacher shortages.

I talk daily to people in the classroom. After being in Wake County for 40 years, I see the morale of teachers is the worst ever. I have no idea why anyone would go into the teaching field.

Kenille Baumgardner

Wake Forest

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