Veteran Teachers Feel Disrespected And Angry About Budget Deal
The Sanford Herald reports on veteran teachers who feel disrespected by the paltry raises that veteran teachers will receive under the budget agreement. For some of our most experienced and qualified teachers, the raises can be as low as 0.3%. From The Herald's article,
"It's disconcerting to us that you have no respect for the teachers who have proven themselves and who have dedicated their lives," said Vicki Wilkins, a longtime teacher at Southern Lee High School and president of the local chapter of the N.C. Association of Educators.
The raises varied based on years of experience from 0.3 percent to 18.5 percent, with the largest numbers reserved for teachers with five to 10 years of experience. Wilkins said that's great for them, but the legislature shouldn't ignore the 20- and 30-year veterans. She compared it to a college basketball team starting all freshmen, only to find out that they're lost without the seniors' experience and leadership.
"You need [the veterans] to be mentors to the younger teachers," she said.
One such veteran, Sandi Shover, has taught for 20 years, including 17 in North Carolina. A language arts teacher at West Lee Middle School, Shover said she still isn't convinced the Republicans in control of the General Assembly truly value teachers.
"I have looked at [the pay plan] extensively and cursed at it," she said. "Don't get me wrong; I am grateful for any raise because I haven't had a raise in so long. ... [But] if you look at the chart, the raises are all over the place."