Ned Barnett’s Sept. 21 column attacking Judy Wilburn, who teaches special needs kids in Yadkin County, was absurd and downright mean.
On our website, CarolinaRising.org, Wilburn states how the recent teacher pay raise has been good for her family and the other teachers in her school. Barnett concedes that our statement, “Under Speaker Tillis’ leadership, K-12 funding has increased by a billion dollars,” is a fact but says that “Most of that spending includes state contributions to pension and health funds and salary adjustments” and that “Critics of the Republicans’ education funding are not referring to contributions to the teachers retirement and health funds and salary adjustments.”
What planet is Barnett living on? Most of all education spending goes to teacher pay, health care and retirement. If Republicans had not funded those pay raises and contribution increases, would Barnett’s position really be that it would have no effect on the classroom?
It is quite amazing that we passed the largest teacher pay raises in state history and fully funded teacher retirement and health benefits, yet The N&O decides that our ability to hire and retain skilled teachers has no impact on the quality of education we provide our children. I call foul.
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President, Carolina Rising