I see advertisements on television where a voice prides Speaker Thom Tillis and Gov. Pat McCrory for giving teachers a 7 percent pay raise. The voice says 7 percent; the words scrolling across the screen say it is an average of 7 percent. The devil is in the details. Senior teachers received a 0.3 percent raise.
I am most distressed for my colleagues who will follow behind me. In the new salary schedule, the top pay for a teacher with a master’s degree is about $4,791 less than the top salary that has been frozen for the last five years. The message sent is that veteran teachers have been overpaid; education and experience don’t matter.
This attitude expresses disdain for the knowledge that our most experienced teachers bring to our students and to our new teachers. It expresses disdain for the value of retaining teachers who want to make education a lifelong career.
This is a sad statement for the value placed on teachers and students in North Carolina. So, on Wednesdays, I still “Wear Red for Ed,” not so much for me, but for our future teachers, the students they will teach and the society they will help create.