Op-Ed: In education in North Carolina, all that glitters is not gold
An East Carolina Professor is out with an op-ed in the Raleigh News and Observer that highlights how some are being tricked into thinking politicians in Raleigh are supporting schools and teachers, when they are not.
With the school year starting, I’m reminded of a former student I bumped into who is now teaching. She was looking forward to the pay raises that were coming her way.
She’s not the first teacher who has fallen under the spell of the legislature. Let’s look at the real cost of these raises on public education.
Because of funding cuts by the legislature, Wake County faces a $17.5 million deficit. These cuts mean poorer transportation, less money for hiring teachers, fewer technology facilitators and dirtier schools. In Durham, a $15 million budget gap means losing 50 teacher assistants and 100 central service employees. In other words, the legislature is robbing Peter to pay Paul.
The same subterfuge is pervasive in our colleges and universities. In the department where I teach, 20 percent budget cuts have meant increasing student tuition, firing more than 12 nontenured faculty, excellent teachers with deep roots in the community – some of whom had served the university for over 10 years – and reducing upper level courses being taught each semester. In other words, students are paying more and getting less.