Wake Ed

Wake County teacher helping commissioner lobby for school budget increase

A Wake County teacher is helping County Commissioner Caroline Sullivan in her efforts to get letters from 200 teachers talking about how they’re affected by their low pay.

In a blog post Tuesday, Terry Stoops, director of education studies, for the conservative John Locke Foundation, ran an April 17 email that Jennifer Bryant, a seventh-grade teacher at Martin Middle School in Raleigh, sent to her colleagues.

In the email, Bryant said that Sullivan, who has children at Martin, “has asked for assistance from us that she and other commissioners believe will make an impact on our pay.”

“She wants to have letters and emails to prove to other commissioners that many of us have to work second jobs to supplement our income, or leave the state and get higher pay, or even leave Wake County to live in a smaller county that doesn’t necessarily increase our pay, but offers a lower cost of living,” Bryant writes. “Ms. Sullivan wants to hear the stories of how talented educators can’t afford to teach and that some of us struggle financially.”

All this is taking place as the Wake County Board of Commissioners will weigh a request from the school board for a $39.3 million increase in local funding. Most of the increase would go toward a 3.5 percent pay raise for all school employees.