Monday, July 29, 2013

N.C. teacher pay: Worse than Mississippi?

There's a chart that's making the rounds showing North Carolina as a dead and dismal last on teacher compensation,  even before last week's vote to withhold raises for 2013-14.  Bill Anderson of MeckEd sent it to Superintendent Heath Morrison,  who's been mentioning it at every opportunity.

The graphic presentation comes from a North Carolina teacher's blog, Teaching Speaks Volumes,  but the numbers come from a National Education Association report on state rankings.

You're probably more familiar with another list from that report, ranking our state 46th in average teacher salaries,  about $10,000 below the national average (and $1,500 below South Carolina).  That's nothing to boast about,  but heck,  we're ahead of West Virginia and Mississippi.

The chart highlights another way of looking at it.  The NEA calculated salaries in inflation-adjusted dollars and charted the change over the past decade,  from 2001-02 to 2011-12.  Teacher salaries across the nation declined almost 3 percent by that measure,  while North Carolina's dropped almost 16 percent.  Indiana had the next-biggest decline at 10 percent.

You can quibble over whether we're last or almost last,  but either way it's a picture that's raising questions about the state's commitment to teachers, students and public education.

At a forum last week on the state's Read to Achieve program, moderator Mike Collins asked Morrison and top officials of three other nearby districts whether North Carolina is a good place to teach.  "No!"  called several people in the audience of about 200 educators and advocates.

Crystal Hill,  executive director of elementary education for the Mooresville Graded School District, said the daughter of Superintendent Mark Edwards recently chose a teaching job in Tennessee over offers from her home state because she can make $11,000 a year more.

"My personal feeling is that clearly there is an attack on public education,"  Hill said.

The administrators were all polished speakers,  but my favorite quote of the evening came from an audience member who identified himself only as a grandfather whose mother had been a teacher.  He talked about the push for accountability in the face of cuts.  "They want you to build a house,"  he said,  "but they won't give you no plywood,  no nails,  no saws,  no hammers."

113 comments:

Anonymous said...

The quote at the end is dead on target. Bureaucrats don't trust teachers and politicians hate them. Get ready for the biggest teacher shortage in history.

Skippy said...

I could care less about this issue and to be honest, I am sick and tired of the left hiding behind children.. That being said, this issue just didn't happen in the last 7 months and if you believe it did, you are not smart enough to be voting anymore.

Anonymous said...

It is impossible to put children first if you put teachers last.

Anonymous said...

As an NC teacher, my new motto is do less with less. I am simply not going to do my best job anymore, not going to bust my butt any longer for the children of people who do not care to pay me a living wage. You get what you pay for NC and this former hard-working teacher is done doing more with less.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic attitude 7:16. Punish the children you vowed to educate because you're not making enough money.

That'll really make people want to give you a salary increase. I'd be embarrassed to be a teacher if I were you.

Tom Davis said...

There are lots of ways of measuring the success of education systems, but change in average salary is not one of them.

New York is losing population, so it is decreasing the number of teachers, not hiring large numbers of new teachers, so you would expect to see an increase in average salary even if the only raises given were cost of living increases. On the other hand, not only is the population of NC growing crazy fast, the percentage of young people entering school is huge compared to states like NY, so you would expect to see huge increases in hires for teachers, who start out at the lowest salaries, and consequently what this chart shows is that states with growing populations of school aged children are appropriately hiring new teachers to handle the influx, whereas states with aging populations are not hiring.

I'm not arguing that NC is doing what needs to be done, nor otherwise. I'm merely pointing out that this chart does not say anything about actual expenditures.

Anonymous said...

Increase teachers salaries and bring back their BENEFITS!

COMMON GOAL for a COMMON CORE

Mikki said...

The comment about doing "less with less" rather than the former "more with less" is exactly what I'm hearing from former colleagues. How sad that a profession so many chose -- not for the money but for the possibility of doing good -- has been eroded to the point that many teachers are now completely deflated in purpose -- or they are resigning.

Anonymous said...

My oldest niece graduated with honors from UNCC in 2008 after being accepted into the prestigious NC Teaching Fellows. She taught 4th grade for 4 years. This year, after receiving her Masters degree, she has left teaching and is now a librarian. It took only 4 years for her to become so disillusioned with teaching that she walked away from something she prepared so hard for. I have to say, I understand the other blogger who said you get what you pay for. It becomes very difficult on a daily basis to work so very hard for so very little and yet every time you turn around, people are demanding more and more from you but even the occasional pats on the back are disappearing. You can only kick the dog so many times before he turns and attacks you......

Wiley Coyote said...

"My personal feeling is that clearly there is an attack on public education," Hill said.

There are many things wrong with public education that have been going on for decades. Teachers are not part of that problem.

What is a problem is the fact the NC legislature couldn't find enough money to give teachers a "raise" (I use the term raise loosely as it should be seen as money given back that was taken away under Perdue).

Teachers are not what's wrong with public education in NC nor the rest of the country.

Lawmakers could have found the money.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone depend on the gov't to educate your kids? No wonder our society is heading down the toilet.
The teachers should take a long, hard look at the inflated salaries and number of positions of adminstration, who seem to suck up a majortiy of the funds..."for the children" of course.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why anyone is surprised. This is exactly what these bozos said they were going to do before you voted for them.

They make no secret of the fact that they believe that YOU don't deserve a minimum wage, health care, or tax breaks and the "job creators" deserve to pay no taxes and should keep every penny they can cheat you out of. Most call it greed, they call it success.

Anonymous said...

PRIVATIZE the schools. That would be the best thing possible.

Anonymous said...

The reality for elementary teachers is we are working harder and far beyond the forty hour work
week in part due to CMS adding the extra time to our day thus taking away valuable planning time. In addition, resources and support have declined. No longer will I work beyond 45 hours per week. This invades my family/fitness time. What doesn't get done just won't get done. A productive employee is one who is healthy, appreciated and is given the tools/resources to be successful.

Anonymous said...

This is precisely the reason why there needs to be a strong Teacher's Union in the State of North Carolina. The overall treatment of Teachers in this State is clearly unacceptable and the working conditions are deplorable. Politicians and Administrators fail to respect the work Teachers do in the classroom, and the pay is indicative of their feelings towards Educators. Further, Teachers in North Carolina are already behind the 8 Ball with the low IQ of many of their students, due to the poor education and upbringing of their parents. The Teachers here in North Carolina should be highly compensated for having to deal with so many lethargic and simply dumb kids.
We need "PUSH" here in North Carolina; A Teacher's Union is long overdue.

Anonymous said...

As someone who came to teaching later in life, it saddens me to hear comments like, "The best and the brightest will leave the profession." That would imply that those of us who decide to stay are second class or are somehow less qualified, which is the farthest thing from the truth. Based on state requirements for NCLB, I am a Highly Qualified educator, and I plan to be here until I retire. Please don't lump those of us who love teaching and can afford to stay into some supposed group of "not good enough to do anything else."

David Knoble said...

We are clearly at a point where our short-term views have taken over at the expense of considering the future. What will happen 10 years from now as our veteran teachers retire, or heaven forbid, leave NC? The quality of our people (teachers) is more important than any other aspect of education - more important than technology, school buildings, testing, or any other aspect of education. Teachers have long produced quality students without adequate tools and resources - because they were quality teachers.

As an aside, the concept of not offering additional pay for a master's degree must come from sources that do not have an advanced degree. The piece of paper that says a teacher has a masters is not what makes them a better teacher. Rather, it is the fact that they have the desire to learn more, better themselves, work hard, and the determination to do all this, frequently while working and raising a family. The type of person that wants an advanced degree is the type of person I want teaching our children.

So the ultimate question, how is lowering our state income tax rate going to help give back all of our education program cuts? How will this raise strategy raise money and put us back on track to helping the most important aspect of our public education system - the teachers?

Anonymous said...

It's a completely meaningless chart.
* It doesn't take into account what the wages were before 2001-2.
* It doesn't take compare with other wages in similar fields in those states.

Education is incredibly important, and public and private school teachers provide an invaluable service. But unfortunately, this chart does not advance a very complex discussion.

Anonymous said...

You may be "Highly Qualified", but the fact of the matter is you are being treated like a rented mule. The young best and brightest (Teachers year 1-6) want a better job for themselves and their families. If you want to stick with losing tens of thousands of dollars in sallary and benefits these past 5 years then that is yours to deal with. You are probably a veteran teacher whose salary is above poverty and frankly to deep into the profession to start another career.

Anonymous said...

Sad, sad sad. This is your elected representatives in Raleigh. The only way to fix it now is to force their hands with teacher walk outs and protests.

Unknown said...

It's obvious our education system failed.
Take a look at the members of the General Assembly.

Anonymous said...

A district wide "sick day"

One of the only options left for the BofE and NCDPI to hear our voices.

COMMON GOAL for a COMMON CORE

Anonymous said...

Wow, some very interesting comments on here.

As a former teacher who is also an independent and not exactly enamored with the current administration, I would like to reply to several posters:

@ 7:13 although I don't agree with the overall tone of your post, you hit the nail on the head that this problem didn't suddenly occur with this administration. Dems had 100 years to correct the situation.

@ 7:16 Really? If that's the way you feel, it's time to find a new profession.

@ 7:56 See comment for 7:16

@ 8:16 Sorry, NC is a right to work state. If a teacher wants to look for a union, they need to move out of state.

Anonymous said...

8:55

I'm sure many teachers will be taking your advice and doing just that.

Anonymous said...

Every certified CMS employee should teach at least ONE class per day !

Otherwise they should cut their salary and by all means forfeit all the bonus moeny and salary adjustments that they have received these past 5 years.

Many problems solved with this simple solution.

Anonymous said...

Is there any other work place that expects employees to do work at home or beyond the workday with no pay? Teachers do it all the time with not so much as a thank-you or a word of praise, they do it for children.At this point in time teachers have taken big steps backwards and expected to learn and teach common core and what happened to all the race to the top money that was supposed to come with this new program? not to teachers or new materials.

Anonymous said...

@7:13 you are correct it didn't happen in the past 7 months. It started with the recession and has progressively gotten worse. Before the recession, NC had risen to the middle of the pack on teacher pay.

You may also want to remember that the GOP gained control of the legislature in 2010 since that is what you are implying.

It doesn't matter whose fault is, we need to value education in this state or the state will suffer for many years to come

bythesea said...

NC needs to provide substantial additional compensation to the most effective teachers. That approach puts the money in the pockets of the best teachers. That also provides teachers with what they need, decent compensation, and taxpayers with what they need, accountability. The measure of effectiveness needs to be on student growth, not some arbitrary goal.

Ghoul said...

7:16,

I doubt any off your students' parents pay your salary. That would be left to the few people who actually work these days. I suggest staying where you are, leaving that cushy Govco ob or the real world would be uite an eye opener or you.

Anonymous said...

In seven short months the Legislature and spineless Pat McCrory have trashed NC. Sickening!

Anonymous said...

9:28 Your comment makes me think of a former colleague who decided to enter teaching after a career in real estate. Her motivations were she wanted with a less demanding schedule. She didn't last past the first semester.

To the High Qualified teacher who doesn't want to "lumped" in. There are many very dedicated folks who will stick around no matter what. However, many of those have a spouse who makes decent money. Many others won't be able to afford it. We are losing so many young, bright people. I have seen it snowball in the last several years. I hope the people of NC will wake up and vote for some legislators who value something other than big money.

Butterfly Mathematician said...

Why would you not care about education? Teachers teach the children of both liberals and conservatives. Truly the issue happens no matter what party is in charge. So if you don't care about the issue why waste your time insulting those of us that do care.

Anonymous said...

NC teachers just starting or teaching less than 10 yrs are getting screwed the worse by far.

What is omitted is experienced teachers and administrators at the top of their pay scale should NOT be a part of any emergency pay raise. Only those making 50k or below with less than 10 yrs should get immediate raises. Administrators should never make more than teachers with an M.A. anyway.

No superintendent should make over 150k anywhere. CMS superintendent making over 250k is a slap in the face even if its chump change for pro athletes.

Obama pulled a quickie raising taxes in Jan 2013 by 5% all the while everything else goes up 5-10% a year for essentials such as gas, food, clothing, cars, insurance, fees, tv cable, cell, furniture, apt rent, repair bills, shoes, utilities, baby clothing and milk and diapers, etc.

And who is paying for asinine pro sports figures to make 30 million a year? Check your mirror. Cancelling your tv cable that rises twice a year is useless as you still pay higher prices on everything else.
They got you.

America has the highest paid pro athletes in the world 5 times over and the only nation on earth who ended analogue tv (but not radio) go fig.

Charfield said...

To those posters degrading publicly funded education - can any of you cite a state or country where privately funded education systems are outperforming public systems?

Anything at all?

Notorious L.E.V. said...

09-10 Dimocrats controlled the house - no raise, plus raised taxes

11-12 Republicans controlled the house - RAISE

13-Present Republicans control everything - INCOME TAX CUT by 2% effectively giving EVERYONE, not just teachers a 2% RAISE

Liberals have absolutely no regard for the truth.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher who loves her students, it saddens me that there are teachers who would 'do less with less'. My feeling is that it's not about me, it's about the kids. I will continue to work as hard as I always have to be the most effective and caring teacher that I can be.

As a teacher who takes pride in her profession, it frustrates me that teachers are being vilified by politicians and the public. My family and I moved to NC two years ago, and with very few exceptions, the teachers I've met in NC care very deeply about the children that they teach and about giving their very best to those children.

Most teachers work hard to plan engaging lessons that will help kids learn and grow in their understanding. And most of them work for hours outside of the classroom to make sure that their students get what they need, often spending their own money on supplies and personal items that their students need. Over the past year, I've become involved in the 'teacher blog' world, and can say that these same things are being done by many teachers across the country.

I don't have the answers, but I know that teachers are NOT the problem.

In my humble opinion, the state government is trying to shrink the public school system, which will increase the private and charter school systems, thereby shifting the cost of education from the public to the private sector.

Will they be successful in making this shift, and will this result in better schools? Only time will tell.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how many on this blog were paying attention to education issues back in the late 1990's and early 2000's. But then, at least here in Charlotte, there was quite a "blame the teacher" movement. Inadequate teachers were the major reason minority and low income students were not succeeding, so the storyline went. Activists stayed busy cranking out graphs and data "proving" that our failing students did not have access to quality teachers. Unfortunately this theory took hold, with the media and, unfortunately, the ed center. It eventually got us to where we are today (at least I think so). Yes, of course there are (and always have been) those who have no business in the teaching profession. But I believe that the folks who were hell bent on "proving" that teachers in high poverty schools were not good teachers (partly because these same folks were loathe to admit that culture and family background had anything to do with school success)did immeasurable damage to the image of the teaching profession. What's laughable is that some of these same folks now have become the "defenders" of local teachers.

Anonymous said...

Teachers need to simply walk out and take a trip to Raleigh. CMS BOE does not have a lobbyist fighting for their pay. These people have been stepped on too many times. Let Raleigh know that you will walk out. You have nothing to lose what are they going to do fire you? They have no replacement.

Anonymous said...

That image is of the "Change" in annual teachers salaries, not the ranking of teachers salaries. I think Ms. Helms has an ulterior motive trying to paint that NC teachers get paid least in the nation. I wish reporters would be objective and not try to fill the story with their prejudice!

Anonymous said...

I am a 4 year teacher and I am resigning. I'm sick of the whole scene. I can not find anything positive to say about being a NC teacher. I'm not sure what I'm doing, but it can not be more stressful and demoralizing than my current position. Hey, I just saw a job ad for a kennel attendant that pays 2k more than I make now, only need a GED! Perfect!

Anonymous said...

Many things in North Carolina are going to get worse under McCrory. But he smiles, ignores our citizens, his team calls protesters morons, Berger's staff hangs up on callers. They are totally unapproachable.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Charfield. People who are disdainful toward public school education love to claim that private students outshine public school students, but we'd never really be able to know without cherry-picking certain pieces of information. Private schools aren't required to publish their information as public schools are.

Anonymous said...

So glad I left CMS and NC. Better schools and higher pay.

Anonymous said...

Easy to see the party lines on this issue. If some of you will step out of your political biases for just a minute...

One of the biggest issues for teachers is that they are being asked to do much more than teach their respective subjects. I came from the private sector, taught for a very short period, and went back to the private sector. The red tape that exists in the school system is mindboggling. Students with little or no motivation at school, or at home, are a HUGE drain on the system. The problem for most of them is that there is no motivation, or discipline, at home either. If you could fix the motivation of the parents and the students, you could do wonders in the classroom.

Administration is sucking up an enormous amount of funds that should be going to teachers. In my particular county, the largest of three systems in the same county, the top 75 positions all make over $65,000 per year and only includes 2 teachers. Think about that for a minute... 2 out of the top 75 positions in the school system are teachers pay. I don't think a union can solve that issue.

Lastly, to the teachers (and all public employees for that matter). I know it seems terrible not to have a raise for long time, but many in the private sector (myself included) have seen their actual wages decline by more that 20% or 30% over the last five years, if they kept their job at all. Many did not and still haven't found work. Not effective wages, ACTUAL wages. So to many of us, crying over no RAISES tends to fall on an awful lot of deaf ears.

This is a complicated issue, but it has very little to do with the folks in Raleigh for the last 10 months.

Anonymous said...

to "Notorious LEV"

There was no statewide raise in 2011-2012. The last statewide raise was prior to the recession, 2007 or 2008.

The only raise since then was a 3% raise last year paid for by Char-Meck which was funded by the windfall provided by the overvaluation of the last property assessment.

Additionally, the decrease in income taxes is from the TOP RATE of 7.75% to 5.75%. However, if you look the NC income tax rates, most, if not all, teachers don't even come close to paying the top marginal rate of 7.75%. Most are somewhere around 6.5%, which means the cut in income taxes provides a "raise" to teachers somewhere in the neighborhood of less than 1%.

Both parties are to blame for this mess, this is certainly a bipartisan assault on teachers. If only both parties could agree on other issues, too...

Anonymous said...

NC does not care about education, never have......
Until the school doors close and parents have to deal with their own children, nothing will change.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:52 Why should TEACHERS take a look at bloated admin salaries?! THEY have nothing to do with it! There's the problem folks- you are punishing the teachers for things they cannot control! STUPID!!!!!!!

Jason Turpin said...

It is hard to take this blog seriously with such a ridiculous headline. Governor Perdue compared us to Mississippi as well after the Amendment One vote. Is Mississippi some kind of third world country? That comparison just sounds childish.


Are teachers underpaid? Look at the profession compared to any other profession in society. They work 9 months a year. They get benefits and job security that most other professions do not have.

In every profession you are paid for the value you bring to the company. There really isn't a fair way to quantify what a teacher does. Test scores cannot really be used as an indicator. Parents have as much to do with a student's success as a teacher does. Look at the graduation rates of South Mecklenburg compared to West Charlotte. West Charlotte has a 25% graduation rate. I'd argue those teachers should be paid more for the challenges they have to deal with. If the graduation rate went up at West Charlotte it would benefit Charlotte a lot more than if the test scores went up at South Meck.

So are NC teachers underpaid? Probably. But the current structure on how we reward our teachers is incredibly flawed. Until we address that nothing can really be fixed. But the people who are aggressively arguing this look at every other profession in society and the benefits provided to teachers before you start talking about "living wages".

Anonymous said...

My concern is the retirement of baby boomers. If fewer students are entering universities to become teachers and the baby boomers start retiring, will we have enough teachers?? Teachers here are trying to leave and some districts up north are starting to hire with the retirement of their baby boomers. I also here with fracking, small boom towns are starting to emerge. Can we keep relying on northerners coming here to cut their teeth in education? Most my children’s teachers are form the north.

Anonymous said...

I fully agree teachers don't get paid enough but they go into this career knowing what the pay and benefits are and the fact that they will never be paid enough. But every year THOUSANDS of new teachers graduate knowing what the pay is so shut up and do your job or change careers.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Jason, where'd you get that grad rate for West Charlotte? It was 54 percent in 2012 (2013 rates haven't been released). That's sure not great, but I've never heard of it being anywhere near 25 percent.

Ann Doss Helms said...

10:07, you're pointing out exactly what this post points out. That chart is out there and getting a lot of buzz -- and yes, I suspect it'll get oversimplified and misunderstood. I'm trying to avoid that, not encourage it.

Anonymous said...

Teacher’s benefits are not that good. My friend pays over 700 dollars a pay check to insure his family. It is 70/30. He does not have vision or dental. He pays 50 to see his Dr and 80 for a specialist. We were discussing benefits and I was taken back on how bad they are. This is not up north. I think people just believe they are good because of what other states give.

Anonymous said...

The benefits are bad and the cost of living is not that cheap.. Groceries are expensive in Charlotte.

Wiley Coyote said...

I think Jason got his numbers backwards.... 52%.

Anonymous said...

This plan is for teachers who are more than seven years in this game with masters pay and other advance degrees and the teachers near 20 or 30 year retirement. Its a easy way to fire teachers and they want get retirement they rightfully deserve. These new Principals don't have tenure so they don't care they gave theirs up when they except the job as the Line leader.
Get ready for law suites when you mess with people lively hood you don't bring a knife to a gun fight. stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

Count me among the teachers heading to another state; one in which I will earn a 40% salary increase and enjoy a great deal more respect.

The Republican "payback time" for teachers is part of a larger issue - their deep-seated fear and hatred of women in authority. They still have the worldview that teaching is something women do for pin money while their husbands are the breadwinner. Many well-publicized studies have demonstrated that this is far removed from reality for many American families.

Teachers are parents, too and NC is quickly becoming one of those places where no parent in their right mind would want their child to "benefit" from a public education. How much worse do you think it will be for students in three years? In five?

Anonymous said...

When an $70,000/yr elementary school phys ed teacher retires and is replaced by entry pay this chart will look real bad.

Anonymous said...

One would think that with 18 trillion in debt and 8 trillion his alone over spending in only 5.5 yrs and with all the fake reparation payments that Obama would have done something for school teachers? What a joke.
He promotes pro athletes making 50 million a year each, no prob.

He casually wastes 100 million for a week vacation in South Africa to see Mandela over 2 times the 42 million Bush spent to go to Africa in 2007.
While in Africa he gives 15 billion cash on his way out.
Slap in the face and then has the nerve to scream racism on the Martin deal again while going on a nationwide socialism promotion tour as a working class hero when 50% of America still out of work and the other 50% bums are collecting gumint checks.


So for the all the Obama lovers where is his help for teachers pay? BIG ZERO strikes again. You get a BIG ZERO like his name.

The rest of the world and whiny shysters gets trillions.

Teachers get LIES.

He is a BIG ZERO !!!

Anonymous said...

11:16am With that attitude I hope you aren't teaching my kid. Please leave now.

Anonymous said...

Sheeps look up! There's a all out war on Teachers and Education by the conservative right. ALEC and the BILLIONAREs and their corporations announce that plan 40 years ago. North Carolina has joined this agenda,Art Pope and Mc Crory sold us the people out. The question is how do we survive which we try to regain our Educational foundations?

Anonymous said...

My wife left teaching two years ago after 12 years in the classroom. She has become a paralegal and makes considerably more money with a less demanding schedule.

The more the politicians become involved in trying to evaluate teachers, the worse the situation becomes. The complete reliance on standardized testing has ruined education and chased the best teachers away.

Anonymous said...

10:45, I agree but education departments across the country are shrinking. Many teachers do leave the profession. You probably work with someone who has a teaching degree. I think the issue here is how low North Carolina is paying. It is not competitive. I fear teachers will graduate from UNC and leave to teach in VA, Kentucky or Tennessee. As a parent the turnover in our schools is frustrating. To many young and experienced teachers leave.

Anonymous said...

Ann: I enjoy your work. However you must know the title and first sentence just are not true, as pointed out by several other posts. This hurts your credibility.

Anonymous said...

RgRegardless the pay and benefits are not competitive.

Anonymous said...

don't punish our kids because your not happy with pay. It is NOT their fault. If you are not happy than get out. As person that assist others in finding jobs there are plenty that would be thrilled to have any job.

Is it fair for them not to give an increase no but do you know how many others have been in that same boat working for other companies. Be blessed you have a job and can help grow our future.

Anonymous said...

Teacherportal.com:
8 states have lower avg pay. NC is 11% higher than Mississippi.
With a growing population NC will have a higher % of newer teachers.
Not justifying anything, but I question the premise.

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher by choice. I can pay my bills barely. There is no extra for saving or for emergencies. Even with extremely disciplined budgeting I still face an unexpected car repair with fear and most months face payday with less than $10.00 in my bank account. I am grateful that I have what I need. WIth that said, I'm very weary of coming home from teaching only to face the mean-spirited remarks of the public day after day. How about trusting us to do the job we were trained to do and JUST LET US TEACH! Is that so hard?

I would gladly post my name and where I teach, but in this right-to-work state, doing so would certainly mean that I would be fired.

Anonymous said...

Being in the teaching profession for 8 years, I have stuck around because I love the kids. I didn't choose this profession for the money, but enough is enough. I am tired of not even getting a cost of living raise. All of you that consider teachers selfish because we want to be able to live and help support our families, shame on you. I am so tired of people telling me that I should just be happy I have a job. I am in the process of getting my master's degree, even though, I will no longer get a raise to help cover the cost of the loan that I will have to pay back. My husband and I are not able to purchase a house because I am unable to place much of my paycheck towards our savings account, and we refuse to purchase more house than we can afford, but that is even a challenge. We are not able to afford to have a child right now because I refuse to have to take any government assistance that I would certainly qualify for. But I still plan on giving as much effort into my job as I can. I, however, can no longer purchase things for my classroom like I used to, therefore my students will not have as much to work with. Hope those of you who are screaming that we get paid enough are happy. There are some of us that still love our job, but are just tired of always being the mule that is worked to the point of collapse on a daily basis. If you have never been in the classroom, then you have absolutely no idea what it is like, so my suggestion is for you to take one of the jobs that I am sure will be coming open and see how you feel about our salary, benefits, and pension after a couple of weeks.

Anonymous said...

"Right To Work States" More like, Right To Fire, Abuse, Mistreat, Underpay, and treat like a Slave.

You Rebumblican jokers have no respect for the people who educate your children. I wonder how you got to where you are today? Sure, at age 5, you politicians were all born with a silver spoon and could just run the classroom with your brilliant minds. You forget how you got here, how you learned, and who truly taught you your ABC's.

You stomp on Public Educators and you have a society of idiots...although you know that, since you illustrate that in Raleigh.

Anonymous said...

"Be blessed you have a job and can help grow our future."

While it's safe to say many teachers feel a calling to teach and are still, now and then, able to find fulfillment in their work, if we wanted to become missionaries, we would have. Instead we pursued higher education, professional development and in many cases, advanced degrees at our own expense to do what we do even better and to face the challenges of differentiating instruction for every single child who comes through our door.

There's something entirely perverse in the thinking that though parents entrust us with their precious children and society with our collective future, what we do doesn't matter -in fact we should be penalized for choosing this career path.

To teach in NC is to sacrifice the security and well-being of our own families for other people's children.

We've been doing more with less for a long time, and now we are all out of less.

Cliff E-Charles said...

I don't know of a teacher who ever became a millionaire from their profession,but very grateful to all the poorly paid teachers who taught me from underneath the trees in colonial Africa to those who taught me in Tuskegee Institute where in the early 1970s a professor had an after taxes monthly take home of $300.00 .Congratulations,you've made presidents,statesmen,Attorneys and even college pundits and yet get a poorly paid for such a devotional profession.Your reward starts here on earth and surely in heaven.No matter where you rank on the salary scale,please keep on striving,the future of education lies in your hands.

Anonymous said...

My mom was a teacher, loved kids and worked in a state where she was paid very well. To this day, her old students see her and tell her how much she meant to them. She did not just work 8 to 3. She generally worked an hour or two each night and a half day every weekend. She got a 20 minute lunch, but not reliably. She took classes in the summer and put time into updating her skills on her own dime. She made calls after work if needed to speak with parents.
A lot of people have not gotten a raise in years. And maybe we can't afford to pay teachers more. I don't know. But they sure should get more respect.

Anonymous said...

Yawn! Same old tired teacher talk from the same liberal sources.

Go to New York, everyone else is leaving, and make the big bucks, See ya!

I'm tired of hearing about teachers when other people are working two part time jobs with no benefits.

They should be willing to pay teachers more from their minimum wage 2 jobs? I don't think so! Get another line of work, we don't mind, if you can find a job outside of teaching.

Anonymous said...

If teachers where smart they would spend the school year looking for employment else where. They have degrees.. Science and math degrees can be put to better use elsewhere. Other states are hiring and pay more. Older teachers should retire and teach in SC. You have to go where the market takes you. NC is a bad market for teachers read “12:37”.. That is the kind of opinions you will find in NC. They compare teachers to wal-mart workers instead of professionals with degrees and student loans. Leaving a job is not easy but as a son of a teacher, I can tell you that NC has walked away from teachers, teachers need to walk away from NC.

Wiley Coyote said...

12:20...

Of the top 10 on the list, 5 are Repulican states and 5 are Democrat states.

What was Bev Perdue's excuse when NC was a blue state?

Anonymous said...

Yeah... teachers have to have a degree. There was a comment about there being plenty of out of work people happy to teach or complaining about having to work two minimum wage jobs. The reality is that it's a specialized field and most people with a specialized degree make more money and have decent benefits. They aren't glorified babysitters. They are professionals like engineers and nurses. They also likely have similar student loan debt.
I guess they could change the system in NC and allow people without degrees to go teach for $12 an hour. Would that make people happy? Just hire a bunch of people who like kids and need a job.

Anonymous said...

As always, many of the comments here are over the top and show a lack of true understanding of the situation at hand. I am an educator. I started as a teacher and have worked hard to earn a master's degree, advanced degree, and a doctorate degree. I have seen little increase in my salary, now as a principal. There is always a misconception that administrators receive a great deal of money. Furthermore, I am connected to my teachers and am not far removed from the classroom. Teachers work more than 40 hours a week; they come in early, stay late, attend school functions, and take work home nightly. I can’t even begin to tell you how often they come in during the summer to work on lesson plans and setting up their classrooms. I oftentimes look at my personal children who suffer because I have to take care of other people's children first; ensuring their safety, education, and personal situations are taken care of before I leave for the day. They did not sign up for my career but I sincerely love what I do every day and hope to show them what it is to love your career. I would never sacrifice my students because they are my children. However, the state of North Carolina (my home state where I went to school K-12 through college) has sent a clear message over the years; educators are not valuable (anyone can do the job so to speak). The same can be said of our police officers and other public officers outside of the governor’s cabinet. We have one of the most important jobs in this world; we are educating our future leaders, doctors, teachers, and sales representatives. We are modeling good citizenship and partnering with parents to build character. We spend money out of our own pockets in order to provide supplies and sometimes, meals and clothes for our students because we are compassionate and we love our children. We care about children. Unfortunately, we do not advocate for ourselves as we should, we do not tell our stories so people outside of our field will truly understand. This issue is not about politics, it is about doing what is right. Teachers have college degrees, must participate in ongoing professional development, and work beyond the required work hours. They should be fairly compensated for their work. Compensation should be more than 5 extra vacation days because if you know a great teacher, they do not take off of work. Not being at school is more work because you want to leave your children in best hands with the best lesson plans and it is just easier to come in and do your job. We need to do a better job of electing public officials that are not promising things, pushing personal agendas, or looking to "not" compromise with the other party. We need to focus on our children. Oh and did I mention, the state continues to cut funding to instructional supplies as well. I just placed an order using my Campbell's Soup label rewards and Coke Rewards in order to get ink pens, glue sticks, sentence strips, etc. This will help us fulfill the basic supply orders to start the school year. Please refocus your priorities on our children. They need our attention and need us to act as role models, politicians included. Educators should be given a fair salary based on their education and years of experience. We need to protect our profession. We are losing great teachers and burning out the great teachers that are holding on for a little hope.
Thank you!

Wiley Coyote said...

TEACH FOR AMERICA

Corps Members Receive a Full Salary and Comprehensive Benefits

As a corps member, you will be a full-time, salaried employee of your school district. Your salary and benefits will be the same as other beginning teachers in that district.

Salary

Salaries range from $25,500 to $51,000, depending on where our corps members teach across the country. Urban regions tend to offer higher salaries because of higher cost-of-living. Rural regions offer lower salaries but corps members enjoy the benefits of lower cost-of-living which helps them save money on rent, groceries, utilities and other living expenses. Use the regional cost calculator on each of our regional pages to get a financial snapshot of living and teaching in each region.

Anonymous said...

"Sick Day" Walkout or STRIKE

What are the other choices for the people who control the purse strings to hear our voices?

Doing more with less for 5 years. Less is about to run out!


COMMON GOAL for a COMMON CORE

Anonymous said...

Gee, Anonymous@JULY 29, 2013 AT 7:28 AM,

What are teachers supposed to do? Work for free? If you were being paid less than you think you deserve, wouldn't you complain? Its people like you that makes the Legislature think its ok to pay teachers a salary they can't feed their families on.

Anonymous said...

"I'm tired of hearing about teachers when other people are working two part time jobs with no benefits."

How many people do you personally know who have completed a Bachelor's degree and six-month internship (paying for the privilege), and in many cases a Master's degree who work only two part-time jobs with no benefits?

Your anger and frustration are misplaced. You should be asking yourself where all the well-paying skilled-labor jobs went - and who's responsible for shipping them overseas.

Wiley Coyote said...

1:27

It is not your job to provide for students beyond school grounds as a principal or teacher. If you do that outside of school I applaud you, but it has no bearing on your job. That may sound harsh but there are a myriad of agencies who help those in need.

Schools are there to educate, not run social services.

Also, Classroom Central has given away millions in free school supplies to teachers and students who need them, so there should be no need to spend out of pocket to provide for kids.

Again, if you do it on your own then that's your choice.

Anonymous said...

I will still give all my energy to teaching but I WILL NOT purchase out of own pocket any supplies or resources for my classroom anymore. The days of spending $500-$1000 per year to supplement what I don't have as tools in my classroom are over.
And on days that I am not staying for meetings with the after school enrichment I do (for which I have NEVER been compensated), I will stay an additional half hour after the students leave to prepare for the next day and that is it.
Yep, you can say I have a bad attitude. So when the politicians go back to having a good attitude toward teachers, this teacher will find her good attitude toward teaching.
Oh, and you can bet I'll be job hunting outside of NC as well.

Anonymous said...

This all happened under Democrat governors. Has nothing to do with the current administration.

Anonymous said...

I didn't get a raise this year either and am still very lucky to have my job, AND I work all year and don't get the summers off like you do. Cry me a river, teachers. No pity from me.

Anonymous said...

"Classroom Central has given away millions in free school supplies to teachers and students who need them, so there should be no need to spend out of pocket to provide for kids."

To Title I schools, perhaps, though millions - I doubt it. However, as you are so well-informed on the subject as so many others, please advise the rest of this online community as to the particular items which can be ordered from Classroom Central, with what frequency, and in what quantities.

While you're at it, tell us how long you've been a classroom teacher or how many hours you spend per week volunteering in CMS schools.

Anonymous said...

"Corps Members Receive a Full Salary and Comprehensive Benefits"

"Salaries range from $25,500 to $51,000, depending on where our corps members teach across the country." You can guess where NC falls in that range.

So why haven't you signed up for this amazing opportunity rather than collecting government benefits from taxpaying citizens (teachers, for example) while you sit home and pontificate on matters of which you have absolutely zero firsthand knowledge?

God help the TFA kids who get thrown into urban schools after five weeks of "training". I don't resent them as "scabs", I just feel sorry for them, as I do for the Teach Charlotte folks recruited from Nebraska and Ohio, Iowa and Kansas - they are lambs to the slaughter. CMS keeps recruiting all across the country because they can't find local teachers willing to teach under conditions which would make Detroit blush.

Anonymous said...

"I oftentimes look at my personal children who suffer because I have to take care of other people's children first; ensuring their safety, education, and personal situations are taken care of before I leave for the day. They did not sign up for my career but I sincerely love what I do every day and hope to show them what it is to love your career.

I would never sacrifice my students because they are my children. However, the state of North Carolina (my home state where I went to school K-12 through college) has sent a clear message over the years; educators are not valuable (anyone can do the job so to speak).

Very well stated.

Anonymous said...

We will get what we pay for. With a 16% drop in real salary over the past 12 years, how can we begin to expect to keep our best teachers? Now we are dead last in the country. They are already leaving the state!
They will be replaced with Teach for America teachers who are not even real teachers and won't be for 2 years after they are hired. They will learn on the job, using our kids as guinea pigs. Is that what we really want? We are on the road to last place not just in teacher salaries, but in education period.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous who used Teacherportal: Outdated information on Teacherportal at the moment. Mississippi gave teachers pay raises. N.C. cut both teacher pay and teacher benefits, and also yanked job security. We ARE last as a result of the recent legislative vote. Just give Teacherportal time to catch up.

Anonymous said...

How long has Kevin Huffman even lived here? He doesn't know N.C. so don't let him tell us what to do!

Anonymous said...

@ 2:02, you may not have gotten a raise this year, and I truly hate that for you. I don't wish not getting paid a fair salary or not getting a cost of living increase on anyone. Teachers have only had a 1.2% raise in the last 6 years. Most teachers do not actually "get summers off" as you put it. Most of us have to work summer jobs in order to be able to pay bills, purchase items for our classrooms that are not provided, put money in the savings, put money back for vacations, Christmas, etc. We also attend professional development as well as continuing education courses, most of which we pay for, in order to become better at the job we love. Oh, and FYI, for those who may be wondering, we do not get paid during the summer like most think we do. We have to have money taken out of our paycheck put back for summer paychecks, or save it on our own. But thanks for showing us just how much you care!

bobcat99 said...

The slide in teacher salaries began under Democratic administrations. That said, did you really expect Republicans to fix the problem? Now teachers have no raise plus no tenure plus no extra pay for higher qualifications plus no "incentive plan" in place plus money going to private schools. Most white public school teachers I know vote Republican. Can someone explain that to me?

Anonymous said...

The teacher complaint is about what they take home. My question is, what does a teacher cost? There are health care premiums, matching SS and medicare taxes. And a pension program that will probably be a future burden for all school systems.

So I propose that we give teachers a chance to opt out of the pension program and take the money and do what they want with the extra cash.

I know that teachers are asked to do much paper work. But you choose to teach, you might end up retired for more years that you teach and that is a sweet deal.

Anonymous said...

Dear Thom,

Thanks for your emails telling me about your upcoming plans and asking for a contribution to your campaign.

Unfortunately, my teacher's salary doesn't allow for any extra expenditures, so it's either pay the bills or send money to you. Guess you can see my conundrum.

Wiley Coyote said...

2:22

The first 6 years of the program, Classroom Central received over $13 MILLION in donations

Classroom Central opened its doors on October 8, 2002, and currently serves more than 126 schools, 6,482 teachers, and 86,000 students in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg and surrounding districts. In the six years that the organization has been in existence, more than $13 million in free school supplies has been distributed.

Anonymous said...

Not all schools are eligible to benefit effectively from CC.

Sam Chapman said...

The lack of compassion by many on the far right is disturbing, but not surprising. Teacher should be compensated to the level of value they give to the community. The pitiful amount they receive is unconscionable.
Truly, this problem is long standing, not just a republican issue. though the probability of a fix by the present regime is dismal.
Thank you, Mrs. Medlock, Mrs. Snead, Mrs Henry, Mrs. Hanks, Mrs. Bishop, Mrs Medlock, Mrs. Sara Smith, and Mr. Widenhouse. You helped make me who I am.

Anonymous said...

The really sad thing is, (of course I can only speak for my county), but we have such wonderful teachers! I believe they teach because they have such a passion for it, not because the pay. But they have to support or help support their family just like everyone else. Our schools have been failing our children as a whole for years, and it looks like instead of improving its just going to get worse. It's not just teachers either. My husband works for the Department of Transportation, which is considered a state job also. He just got his first raise in seven years, and many of the employees actually make less after their raise because of the increase in taxes. While these workers aren't educating our children they are putting their lives in danger on nearly daily basis.

Anonymous said...

I have heard many comments about it is about the kids. I am a teacher and love my students in many different ways. What folks tend to not recognize is teachers have families to support as well, and not paying them a livable wage does hurt their students, because many of us have to have a second job. Would a doctor say, I want to make not as much because it is about the patient, NO. Would a top executive say, no raise for me because it is about the customer, NO. I have a small house, 2 old vehicles, and a great family, but may have to leave teaching because I cannot afford to stay in it.

Anonymous said...

Teachers have not had a raise in 7 years....lets see how how many of you would still keep the same job if YOU were in their shoes.

Anonymous said...

I am curious, why the push so deep and hard for these testing standards, do the results really mean anything. Follow the money, someone is making big bucks putting these tests together. I am certain that the administrators get a bump in pay if test scores rise, and I do mean all administrators, its only logical. Teaching assistants do literally twice the work of most of the teachers, yet get nothing but scraps. Thats tragic.

Anonymous said...

Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. As a teacher in NC, I can personally say that teachers are overworked and underpaid. I am also forced to spend so much of my own money if I want basic things like pencils, paper, or basic office supplies in my classroom. If we only respected teachers like we do NFL or NBA payers.

Anonymous said...

Forget school teachers and schools. Fire them all and close them all. Let their parents babysit and educate their own children.

After a few weeks of that you will find everyone voting for teacher salary increases because even their own parents do not want to put up with their offspring.

Karen Leigh said...

I have been an NC teacher for 24 years and I get paid less than 50k a year. (the amount someone commented that teachers with less than 10 years of experience should be making) I will always give my best; I love teaching and I adore the children I work with.

But working in NC as a teacher right now is disheartening. I thought I'd work till I was 65 in public education... I won't be now. Staff has been cut every year for the past 8 years. I watched a teacher in tears today because she is unable to do what needs to be done for an 8 year old reading on a kindergarten level. It's not that she doesn't want to, or that she won't do everything she can to help the child. It's that she doesn't have enough support and there is no money to get the support she needs. She has 24 other children to worry about as well, and the support staff has been cut back again this year.

Another poster commented on cutting administration staff... that's been done. Payroll works with only 3 people now (I'm in one of the largest systems in the state), Top administration has been cut. Our superintendent has made it a point to cut from the top first and leave as many teachers and assistants in classrooms. With all the paperwork and accountability (the later not being a bad thing but it takes time) having administration to take some of that load off of classroom teachers is important.

Anyone mentioning unfunded mandates... THATS IT! It is a wonderful Utopia to say that all children will be on grade level. But that's just what it is, especially if we don't have the people we need to work with the students. The quote from the grandfather at the end of the article is perfect... I want to hug him for "getting it" Thank you sir... you are my hero.

Anonymous said...

Vowed?

Anonymous said...

Then you should quit!!!! It's not the childrens fault , don't take it out on them! Shame on you

Anonymous said...

A lot of this argument is about respect. How much do we respect the teachers of North Carolina? Teachers spend several hours with children every day. Do we want them to work hard and make a difference in childrens' lives or do we want them to push paper, kill time, and babysit? North Carolina, this is your choice. It is not the pay that is the real problem. It is the attitude towards education and the future. I taught in North Carolina's public schools for five years. My experience has shown me that there is little respect or genuine support for teachers. I understand that schools do not generate a profit in the present, but what about the future? Money talks. What teachers are paid and how they are evaluated shows a lot about the way North Carolina feels about education. Teachers are expected to take additional credits to remain certified, to maintain communication with all parents, to have effective lesson plans prepared for all subjects, to teach precisely the latest curriculum in a timely manner, to ensure students are engaged, to constantly update academic records, to monitor students' progress, to accommodate to every student's need, to push each student's intellectual capacities, and to provide emotional support. Also in any given day there are administrator meetings, department meetings, and parent-teacher conferences. Administrators are truly too busy to help teachers, unless they are evaluating them. Therefore, all teachers must face these challenges alone. There are things teachers do for students that go unnoticed. For example, teachers often provide encouragement, a letter of recommendation, tutoring-time, or advice for college. Teachers volunteer for fund-raisers, after-school programs, and coaching. There are several other things teachers have the opportunity to do for children, and would be more willing to do with the right support from the community and the government. The economy is not in a great place right now, but how about a little respect for the people that have a direct influence on your children?

Anonymous said...

Attitude? Your's is obviously nasty! Do you walk in a room with 25 or more children 5-10 years old every morning before 8:00 and here their ailments that no one the morning of...all the while making sure all you're going g to do in that day is printed on the walls for people to see? Your objectives of the day... and get 3 or more emails of something that has to be turned in ... I. 2 hours. ...and teach... and do assessments which is all the state of NC has teachers doing ...assesses more than we re allowed to teach. Miss teaching days for demanded workshops.. complete and meet with parents about PEPS... and keep data notebooks... mentor children... or the county will come down on our principal. Out of 30 days... at my school, We may have a total of 10-12 days of teaching time. Yet, NC law says now all 3rd graders must be proficient readers by the end of this year. That's a miracle waiting to happen. When some read 10 words a minute. But they came to kindergarten unprepared And still play catch up. You shut up... you have no clue!

Anonymous said...

As a teacher that has been in a REAL classroom and dealing with REAL students from the REAL world for over two decades I can attest, its gonna be a bumpy ride. I personally love my job, love my students, and advocate for them in every way possible. I spend nearly a thousand dollars a year out of pocket for things that frankly wouldn't happen otherwise that directly benefits these children. All that being said, a recent study shows a staggering 73% of NC teachers would leave the profession if the opportunity arises. More precisely they would leave the state or the profession. I wonder what WILL happen if that study is even remotely accurate. What happens if just 1/4 of those people find a way out? Given a teacher population of 94,000, if just 1/4 of that 73% leaves, NC will be looking at a teacher shortage of just shy of 18,000 teachers. Think about that impact. Think of the irreversible HARM that will be done to not only our school age population but our culture and future as well. 18,000 teachers represents one half of a million children without teachers. What will NC look like with over 500,000 kids losing out on a fair and equitable education? How many of those children will end up as drop out statistics or even worse? How many lives will be destroyed? Yes ladies and gentlemen, it IS that serious. We may very well be on the cusp of the greatest societal catastrophe in the state's history. Hopefully however, most teachers will swallow hard and keep coming back for more abuse. Hopefully......

Daniel Brown said...

"Teacher Compensation" does not equal gross salary. These statistics are misleading and frankly scaremonger tactics. Teacher Compensation = salary + benefits + years of experience - cost of living. The cost of living if NC is low relative to other states, we have a younger teaching population in terms of years taught (further deflating what our avg "salary" looks like), and benefits packages are much nicer than many states. Here is a 2009 report that outlines this data by the numbers and compares it among states. In 2009, NC was estimated to be the 14th best teacher compensated state in the country.

http://www.johnlocke.org/research/show/spotlights/218

Anonymous said...

Is there any other profession where you are expected to arrive early for meetings, work all day without so much as a lunch break (we supervise the kids and sit with them at lunch) stay late for more meetings, take work home, and still be told your not doing enough?? Oh I forgot to mention the planning period I never see because i'm covering other classes during planning and the fact that I am trained to only need two 30 second bathroom breaks a day since thats the only time I can get away from the kids during the day. I will say, i'm fullfilling the obligations of my teach grant them i'm seeking employment else where, where i'm paid a living wage and i get to sit down to eat lunch.