Eastern Wake: Opinion

June 13, 2014

Letter: Legislators need to value our teachers

I was a special ed teacher for 9 years in the public schools in Durham and in Maryland. When I moved here from Maryland because my husband got a job here, I took a big pay cut. North Carolina is number 46 in terms of funding for public schools. We are last in the southeast on per pupil funding. I worked 65 plus hours teaching, grading papers, communicating with parents and writing lesson plans (and most teachers do).

I was a special ed teacher for 9 years in the public schools in Durham and in Maryland. When I moved here from Maryland because my husband got a job here, I took a big pay cut. North Carolina is number 46 in terms of funding for public schools. We are last in the southeast on per pupil funding. I worked 65 plus hours teaching, grading papers, communicating with parents and writing lesson plans (and most teachers do).

The way we attract quality teachers to Wake County is by paying them more. One of my favorite teachers growing up was Ms. Stewart in 5th grade in Nashville, Tn. at Rose Park Elementary. She took us on walking field trips every week across a big field to the public library. Ms. Stewart was a very dedicated and loving teacher. All kids deserve to have excellent teachers who are paid a decent wage. County commissioners: please show our teachers and staff we value them and give them a decent pay raise, more than just $200 which might cover some school supplies.

Commissioner Joe Bryan told me he supports education, on his campaign literature it says he supports education.

Commissioner Paul Coble, in his campaign for Congress, said he had a record of supporting education.

Yet, they don't seem to be honoring their promises.

Our N.C. senators, in their budget, cut 7,400 teacher assistants this year. Added together over the past 2 years in our state over 11,300 assistants will be cut. Who is bearing that burden? Our teachers and students.

Budgets are not about money, they are about priorities. PreK- 12 grade education is a cause that merits our generous support and our most devoted efforts.

Rita Rakestraw

Knightdale

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