Editorial: Hurting Veteran Teachers is Unacceptable

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It's an election year, so that means more boastful promises about teacher pay from politicians in Raleigh. However, as we get more details of the proposal, once again it's clear that veteran educators are being left behind. It's clear politicians like Gov. McCrory have no interest in supporting experienced teachers, or helping those who want to make teaching a career.

Washington Daily News: 

The General Assembly is leaning toward pay raises on a scale, depending on the number of years a teacher has worked in the field. Not only that, legislators are also leaning toward following a similar formula from last year. Last year's pay raises gave the bulk of the money to newer teachers and raised the base salary for incoming teachers. 

Here's the catch: veteran teachers saw little if anything added to their paychecks. That is a disappointment. 

Veteran teachers are the ones with a wealth of knowledge in the field. No business or organization could fully function without a little bit of institutional knowledge, and by refusing these teachers a raise, the state is essentially spitting in the face of decades of service. 

When Gov. McCrory touts his plan for pay raises this year, stop and ask what the flip side of that is. When he praises his plan to push teacher salaries up to $50,000 remember that it is a $50,000 cap. 

The state's oldest teachers have remained devoted to educating North Carolina's students who will largely comprise the future of our state, yet are being neglected by politicians in Raleigh. As the debate over improving teacher salaries progresses it is imperative that Governor McCrory be inclusive to the state's veteran teachers. 


  1. Diane Withrow's avatar
    Diane Withrow
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    The other dirty little secret is that community college faculty are not counted as "teachers". Our average pay ranks even lower than K-12. We are "instructors" with a heavy course load- whether or not we have administrative duties as well. In all but a few counties, we lack the pay supplements given teachers. We often have higher academic requirements for our jobs. Our students tend to stay and work in NC. CC students come to take transfer courses or vocational/ technical career track programs. We have been criticized for low graduation rates. What those statistics don't capture are goal achievement. If a transfer student transfers prior to completing their Associates in Applied Arts or Sciences- they transferred- goal accomplished- but didn't graduate. Vo- Tech students often get that job prior to getting to degree. Goal achieved. Others realize college or that career choice wasn't a good fit. They need to take some time working minimum wage to figure it out. Several years ago I lost promising students because their day care subsidies were cut. A students training to be taxpayers couldn't leave their toddler home alone. This cost taxpayers in the long run. I have taught for 23 years. I need a new roof. I need a vacation. In real terms our pay has gone backwards 9%. Veteran teachers and we instructors are being disrespected. It's time to vote this crowd out.
  2. Carolyn Nichols's avatar
    Carolyn Nichols
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    I think we will see more experienced educators leaving by retiring as early as possible or just quitting. Of course that is probably the goal of the politicians. You would think that there would be some kind of age discrimination policy to protect against this treatment of senior teachers.
  3. Russell's avatar
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    I'll begin my 30th year in the same county I started in and the same school since it opened 25 years ago. I've been dedicated and loyal to the state and my low wealth district. This is the thanks I get. All the while I've watched teachers leave after a few years to go to Wake County for the higher supplement, to other states or leave the profession all together. We have positions that are filled by substitutes for months at a time, sometimes even the entire year. The application pool is often very shallow, and many that are available leave much to be desired. Combine fewer education graduates, the reduction of out of state applicants, the movement from low supplement districts to higher and veteran teachers deciding to retire as soon as they reach 30 years (or even taking reduced benefits even earlier) and you have a recipe for disaster. <br /> <br /> Personally I'm going to stick around for a few more years just to piss em off. 👍
  4. Glenn Davis's avatar
    Glenn Davis
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    I didn't really have a problem with the pay, if you only had to work 40 hours a week and didn't have to purchase your own supplies. But I got tired of working day and night 60-80 hours a week and spending my own money. AND.... on top of everything else, being under the rule of a dictatorial, ego maniac, who likes to load everyone up up and crack the whip to make himself look efficient. He was gone before I left, but it was too late. They wore me out. I had other options because I have always sacrificed to maintain a "Plan B" so that I don't have to be subjected to bondage. My complaint was the impossible work load. I knew the only solution was to leave. (That is still the only solution..... this conversation has been going on for 50 years) So I left after 10 years. Now I make a week's teacher salary in two days and I get SS and a little retirement on top of that. What needs to happen to improve our schools and colleges is for every last teacher to vow to leave in one year if salaries don't go up substantially and then be willing to do it....... then do it if necessary. That is the only possibility. It will never happen.... many will not leave. There are too many people out there dying to have that teaching job....... not qualified of course.... but that doesn't seem to matter. And there are many faculty who give the students the same busy work year after year, and sit in class or their office all day running their personal lives. You will never get rid of them. They are making more than they are worth. I've watched the standards drop considerably in the last 10 years. So there you go. You have a choice. Work for what they offer or leave and do something else. If there is nothing else you can or want to do, you are making your maximum salary, and you are over qualified for what the State is willing to accept.
  5. Russell's avatar
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    The realities of teaching in North Carolina are very different depending on location. Most counties don't have the resources found in the triangle. It is important to consider that when discussing education in our state.
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