Teachers on proposed state budget deal: “Once again, it’s another slap in the face” and “It’s demoralizing.”

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Despite a $445 million budget surplus, GOP budget deal insults teachers once again with a meager one-time bonus -- but no pay raise for vast majority of educators

Reaction from veteran public school teachers was swift and clear after learning of a preliminary state budget deal which includes no pay raise for the vast majority of teachers and only a one-time $750 bonus.

“Once again it’s a slap in the face,” said Dianne Jones, a veteran teacher of more than 30-years in Wake County. “I just don’t understand why these legislators don’t think we’re that important that they can’t raise our pay to at least the national level.”

“It’s demoralizing,” said Stacy Eleczko, another veteran teacher in Wake Co. “We work so many hours, and not to be able to meet basic needs with our pay is just so ridiculous.”

A one-time $750 bonus works out to less than $15 per week -- hardly enough to cover gas money to and from school for most teachers. Although some teachers would receive their contractually-obligated step increases, most teachers who are in between pay steps would get next to nothing this year.

“Politicians spent months bragging about a $450 million surplus, but they’d rather give more tax breaks to big corporations than make meaningful investments in our public schools,” said Progress NC Action executive director Gerrick Brenner. “This $750 Christmas bonus amounts to a lump of coal for teachers and will only encourage more North Carolina educators to leave the state.”

A state budget was due on July 1st and is now 58 days late. Lawmakers have wasted over $1 million dollars in taxpayer money on operating costs and per diem money for lawmakers at the General Assembly. By failing to pass a budget in time for the opening of school for over a million public school students on Monday, school districts have been left in the lurch. In the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system, 500 teaching assistants are scheduled to be laid off if a budget is not passed by then. State lawmakers in Raleigh have said they do not expect a final budget to meet their their third deadline of August 31.

“North Carolina currently ranks 42nd in the nation for teacher pay, and this budget agreement will likely do nothing to change that,” added Brenner. “Time and again, voters have expressed their desire to see our state’s teacher pay raised to the national average. But this legislature does not seem to care.”

Comments

  1. Mazie Smith's avatar
    Mazie Smith
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    Remember this at election time!
  2. Donn Masters's avatar
    Donn Masters
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    This just goes to show how ignorant the NC legislators are about the future of every student in NC public schools. These teachers deserve much more than they are offered. If the state legislators are looking for more money to pay these teachers, they don't have to look any farther. STOP big corporate tax breaks (corporate welfare). That's where you'll find it.!!! But I guess most of them are afraid to buck the corporations because that is where most of them get their campaign contributions.
  3. sam's avatar
    sam
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    They want public school system to fail so they can privatize or.
  4. Tracey Cauble's avatar
    Tracey Cauble
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    Please, please, please remember this at the next election! If EVERY teacher in the state voted, we could decide the election! Make your voice heard by voting! McCrory has to go!
  5. Tracey Cauble's avatar
    Tracey Cauble
    | Permalink
    Please, please, please remember this at the next election! If EVERY teacher in the state voted, we could decide the election! Make your voice heard by voting! McCrory has to go!
  6. Teachers Count's avatar
    Teachers Count
    | Permalink
    I would love for a newstation to come to my school and follow me around for a day To see how the budget has impacted our staff, students, supplies, hallways and technology needs. We don't have working bathrooms, copiers, computers and our playgrounds are a mess. Nevermind that I have to ask parents to supply copy paper, tissues and every material supply I need to be the most effective teacher I can be. I love being a teacher or I would have dumped this job a long time ago.
  7. Lee Ann Rutledge's avatar
    Lee Ann Rutledge
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    Don't let them trick you! That surplus will be saved til next year so they can present everyone with a raise to make you forget the other years. Don't forget!!!!
  8. Lee Ann Rutledge's avatar
    Lee Ann Rutledge
    | Permalink
    Don't let them trick you! That surplus will be saved til next year so they can present everyone with a raise to make you forget the other years. Don't forget!!!!
  9. Judy DeLong's avatar
    Judy DeLong
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    Judy DeLong · Bradford Area High School<br /> I have 2 questions about NC schools:<br /> <br /> 1. Where does all that "Education Lottery" money go? Did they stop funding the schools with our taxes that they still collect? Lottery winners pay almost half of what they win back in taxes. Where does that money go?<br /> <br /> 2. Now that they have fired most, if not all, of the Teacher's Aides, who will drive the busses? At least in my county the TAs drive the busses as part of their responsibilities. Won't they need to hire bus drivers now? Or maybe they can do away with providing any transportation to school at all now. Then they could make a few bucks selling the busses. Where do you think that money would go?<br /> <br /> Did you notice I said "fired", not laid off for those of you in other states? Since this is a "Right to Work" state, that means we have NO rights. When you are hired for a job you are forced to sign a contract that states "the employer has a right to terminate the employee with or without notice, with or without cause". If you don't sign the contract, you don't get the job. They fire people here, so they won't be forced to pay unemployment. If you go to a hearing to appeal their decision to deny unemployment compensation, they will be on the side of the employer 99% of the time, and make sure you can't recieve any benefits that you have worked for. Then Governor McCrory brags about the low unemployment rate! It's not because people have found jobs.
  10. Jon's avatar
    Jon
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    I LEFT the NC school system and crossed the border! I still vote here though. I definitely won't forget and will make sure my 1k friends who still teach here don't either.
  11. Brenda's avatar
    Brenda
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    How about all the 8,000 plus TA's that will loose there jobs to make room for more " more teachers and lower class sizes"? We already have a shortage what makes you think you can fill those teaching positions you plan to make? Also who will drive the buses? Not all counties outsource their transportation!
  12. Norma's avatar
    Norma
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    And the 750 bonus is before taxes, right! What a slam! Yes, we must remember these legislators.
  13. Norma's avatar
    Norma
    | Permalink
    And the 750 bonus is before taxes, right! What a slam! Yes, we must remember these legislators.
  14. William B. Ware's avatar
    William B. Ware
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    Well, I don't see any positive reactions to the way teachers and other state employees have been treated... There's a message there! And the worst is yet to come... Enrollments in NC teacher education programs are rapidly decreasing; fewer and fewer young people are considering teaching as a viable vocation. What then?
  15. Susan's avatar
    Susan
    | Permalink
    That 450 million dollar surplus will definitely benefit their personal salaries as they have had raises every year since they have been in office. Also, I bet the amount we spend on prisoners has increased which was approximately $30,000 per year, but yet a child is around $5,000 per year. We are insuring that we will always have the highest numbers of prisoners per capita than any other state. How STUPID!!!! How stupid especially if you vote for these "crooks"!!! People complain but yet will not vote outside their party or are afraid to voice their opinion. This sounds like a dictatorship!!!!
  16. Kathy Davis's avatar
    Kathy Davis
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    I can't wait until election time in NC... I will contribute to all Democrats running against republicans currently in the NC legislature! NC teachers, SC teachers are behind you!
  17. Birty53's avatar
    Birty53
    | Permalink
    That $750 "bonus" will only be $390 before retirement, SS and other deductions. Remember that bonus money is texted at 48%. Such a joke!
  18. Birty53's avatar
    Birty53
    | Permalink
    That $750 "bonus" will only be $390 before retirement, SS and other deductions. Remember that bonus money is texted at 48%. Such a joke!
  19. amy's avatar
    amy
    | Permalink
    The bonus will be taxed at 42%. That makes it approx $450. We are 51st in rankings for teacher conditions, largely due to pay. How does this make us marketable? How does this ensure that our teaching force is not comprised of teachers without the experience to be leaders or have the exposure to what many vets have seen that allows them to be problem solvers and mentors? We stayed in the classrooms of a district when we were in a 7 year pay freeze to be discarded when times aren't as lean. Why? I heard about 2 expected initiatives all staff are expected to do through the news. Not my district first. Still have heard no concrete details but the news is holding them up as great ideas. TAs do invaluable work, especially for my elementary colleagues. It's unconscionable to lay them off with little notice. They have families and living expenses too!
  20. Effie Sparrow's avatar
    Effie Sparrow
    | Permalink
    I gave up and retired! You get tired swimming against the tide. It's exhausting!
  21. Victoria's avatar
    Victoria
    | Permalink
    Terry Sanford is rolling in his grave.
  22. Tom Harper's avatar
    Tom Harper
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    It amazes me how we continue to allow our state legislature to make a mockery of the profession that we have all chosen as our passion. If we, as teachers, were 58 days late and over 1 million dollars over budget on a directive given to us, we would have been fired...no questions asked. Why we continue to let our elected politicians to basically destroy all that we have worked for and all that we consider important is beyond me. If we don't find a way to stand up and say "no more", we are going to lose our passion and our most precious commodity, our children...they are the ones that are going to lose out. We've got to find a way to get our elected officials to understand that we are not going to take it anymore. We have to stand up and hold them accountable.
  23. Anne's avatar
    Anne
    | Permalink
    This type of thing is one of the key reason I moved myself and my two children out of state. I didn't feel comfortable that they could get a decent education with the govt doing all they possibly can to tank the education system in NC despite how I voted.
  24. msb62's avatar
    msb62
    | Permalink
    Voters were so anxious to tie all Democrats to the current president... That they cut off their noses to spite their faces. There has got to be balance. Choose wisely next time... Do your homework.
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