Thursday, May 15, 2014

The $60 Difference

I don't have any long, detailed stories to share with you today.  While I've watched amazing things happen in my classroom this week, I'm a bit emotional after a meeting I attended tonight.  So with that in mind I'm going to briefly share what I'm mentally processing right now and hope that you'll be inspired to learn more and take action:

Tonight I sat with my colleagues and my students' parents while three members of our school family shared their perspectives on the teacher pay crisis in NC.  As I listened to my principal, a former co-worker (who had planned to be a life-long educator but resigned effective January 1, 2014), and one of our parents talk, the problems associated with years of frozen teacher pay were clearly illustrated for me.  I learned that:

  • 2 members of our staff have lost their homes to foreclosure this year
  • multiple teachers at our school are leaving the profession because they are unable to provide for their families' financial needs
  • teachers in our school are choosing not to have more children or not to have children at all because they simply can't afford the cost of raising a child
  • one teacher shared with our principal that she cannot afford sports equipment for her son because after she's paid for the month's rent, utilities and groceries there simply isn't any money left over
  • in a family of four, a single parent's children would qualify for free and reduced lunch on a teacher's salary
  • the current plan to provide an average 2% raise for all of NC's teachers would be funded by taking money from the public university system (which seems a bit ironic to me)
  • likewise, the cost to Wake County taxpayers to get teacher pay up to the national average is merely $60 a year  
An extra $60.  That's all it'd take each year to bring teacher pay up to the national average.  I'm willing to pay it - are you?

If you feel so inclined, please write your state representatives about this issue.  Fully funding public education in NC (Pre-K through college) is vital for our success as a state.  And if you're a Wake County resident, please write your county commissioners to encourage them to fund the WCPSS proposed budget, including teacher raises.  

1 comment:

  1. The issue of teacher compensation should be each taxpayer's number one priority to rectify. $60 a year...I spend more than that for frivolous must have's but don't tell my husband!