Reaction to the budget N.C. legislators passed last week has been flooding social media and inboxes this week.
For most of the 11 years I've covered education, educational change at the state level has moved at glacial pace. This year it swept in like a summer thunderstorm, and some educators feel like they got soaked.
Plenty of teachers have penned and posted letters expressing dismay. I thought this "Dear North Carolina" letter from first-grade teacher Kayla Moran was a nicely written example of the first-hand emotional reaction. "North Carolina, you're breaking my heart," she begins. "I wish you could see the faces of my children, but they're just numbers to you."
Jo Ann Norris, president of the Public School Forum of North Carolina, offers a detailed analysis of changes in staffing, teacher pay, tenure and the N.C. Teaching Fellows program in a piece titled "What a Difference a Year Makes."
"I do not envy principals, personnel directors, or other administrators seeking to hire teachers in the 115 school systems in North Carolina in the coming years," Norris writes. "It will be a state in all likelihood that will drop to the last ranks in both average teacher salary and per pupil expenditure."
"Reduced funding will only continue to damage our local schools, reduce diversity, divide communities, force more cutbacks in classrooms and extracurricular activities, and fail to provide each and every child with the education necessary for success in life," Anderson writes.
"Make no mistake about it that this legislative session, North Carolina’s voice was heard loud and clear around the nation that she intends to chart a more comprehensive educational course in how we will educate our neediest children," wrote president Darrell Allison. "Passage of these two scholarship measures amid continued public charter school expansion means parents will have more options within the K-12 process regardless of their income or zip code.”