Editorial: GOP legislators continue shortchanging NC teachers
The News and Observer is out with an editorial slamming GOP lawmakers for their continued lack of support for educators in our state. It's been reported that based on an agreement between the House and Senate, most NC teachers will receive no raise at all this year.
Do North Carolina’s Republican legislators really believe that a one-time, before-tax $750 bonus is going to keep teachers in the state and draw more in coming years? That it will cause other state employees to cheer? This isn’t Wonderland.
This is a state where teacher salaries have been stagnant for six years, where the much-boasted-about raises for beginning teachers have been a point of pride for Republican lawmakers who act as if bringing starting and early-career teachers to the national salary average – while the overall average remains among the nation’s lowest – is some kind of act of monumental generosity.
It’s not. The agreement reached by the House and Senate giving state employees and teachers that bonus is embarrassing. And it is a sad commentary indeed on a virtual collapse by the House and Speaker Tim Moore, who had noble ambitions to spend more money in the wake of a Great Recession from which many residents have yet to recover. Moore and his chamber had wanted to give state employees a 2 percent across-the-board boost, which many haven’t seen in years.
There was a hint from Moore’s office that there would be better raises next year, something state employees couldn’t be blamed for viewing with skepticism. Of course, next year is an election year. Oh, yeah.