Senate budget leaves veteran teachers out in the cold
Once again, veteran teachers get the short end of lawmakers’ inflated claims about education funding. Meanwhile, teaching assistants are completely ignored (for now...)
Once again, the fine print of the Senate budget proposal shows that inflated GOP claims about education funding should be treated with extreme skepticism. It’s just the latest in a long series of misleading rhetoric which betrays the General Assembly’s misplaced priorities on public education.
Under the Senate’s proposed salary schedule, our most experienced teachers would get no raise at all. For teachers with 20-24 years of experience, their “raise” works out to just $50 per month -- barely enough to pay for a tank of gas.
“If you’re an experienced teacher in North Carolina, this budget sends a message loud and clear that you don’t matter,” said Gerrick Brenner, executive director of Progress NC Action. “We should be doing everything we can to keep our best teachers from leaving for better pay in other states, but lawmakers are just saying ‘don’t let the door hit you on the way out.’”
The Senate’s budget summary also ignores teaching assistants entirely, leaving their future in question until more details are announced. And the $29 million per year being added to textbook funding isn’t even close to pre-recession levels, which means North Carolina will continue to have one of the worst rankings in the country for classroom spending.
Last year, Sen. Berger claimed that teachers were getting “the largest pay raise in North Carolina history” under the Senate plan. That turned out to be completely false. His claims that teachers were getting “an average 7 percent raise” turned out to be false as well. In fact, some of our most experienced teachers received "raises" as low as 0.29%.
“At this point, North Carolina teachers have every reason to be skeptical of Republican claims that don’t match reality,” added Brenner. “When political hucksters like Phil Berger start making promises about education funding, experienced teachers know they’d better check the fine print.”