Our Students & Teachers Deserve More
Last year thousands of teachers gathered together to “Wear Red for Ed” around our state’s capital to advocate for more funding for education. This movement was the first I had ever heard of how poorly our education system was funded. I didn’t quite understand what was going on so I researched and wrote briefly to inform others about what I observed.
BUT, this year… this year is different!
About a week ago, I received notification that there would be a last-minute Teacher Workday scheduled. I was somewhat distraught because this was very unusual but through further investigation, I found that a movement was coming for more education funding again.
Over 1 million students did not have class because on May 1, our teachers marched for students, our teachers rallied for respect, and our teachers advocated for public schools. Our teachers were on a mission create change and I believe we should all back them!
As a resident of North Carolina (NC), I have come to realize that North Carolina is one of the worst in the country in the amount our elected leaders spend per student. NC’s spending per student is more than $3,000 behind the national average. The school district that my son attends is nothing short of amazing but imagine how much more awesome it would be if they had $3,000 more per student!?
The average teacher salary in the U.S. now stands nearly $10,000 higher than that of the average educator in North Carolina, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. North Carolina currently ranks 39th for teacher pay. When adjusting for inflation, educators are losing money (almost 12%)—the third worst rate in the country. This statistic is absolutely ridiculous! Our teachers, the ones that educate our little ones and transform them into intellectual beings are not receiving the finances they deserve for all of the work they accomplish. This must change!
- Average teacher pay in 2017-18: $51,214
- National ranking: 39th (out of all 50 states plus D.C.)
- Trending up: North Carolina’s teacher pay ranking has risen from 47th in 2013 to 39th now
- Inflation hurts: Although the numbers might look bigger, this year’s average pay of $51,214 means that teachers still have about $5,000 less in purchasing power than they did before the recession.
- Our teachers deserve better! Our students deserve better! They both deserve the resources to help make them successful inside and outside of the classroom.
We should demand:
- Professionally paid educators- A multi-year professional pay plan for educators, education support professionals, administrators and all other school personnel. This plan must include restoration of compensation for advanced degree and longevity. The plan must also stop the flat-lining of experienced educator’s pay.
- More resources per student- Significant investment in per-pupil spending so our students have the resources to be successful.
- Safe schools- Investing in the health and well-being of our students and making schools safer through increased school nurses, counselors, social workers and other support personnel and expansion of Medicaid to improve the health of our communities.
- Schools that are not crumbling and in disrepair- Fix our crumbling schools and large class sizes with a Statewide School Construction Bond.
If we love our children like I know we do then we should love our public schools and demand better from our legislators!
Support more funding for our students & teachers by doing one or several of the options below!
- Write Your Legislator! Find your legislator here
- Sample Letter: Dear [ Sen. Or Rep. _________] or Dear Governor Cooper, As a [tax payer, parent, grandparent] I am concerned about North Carolina’s investment in education. I share and believe in the commitment to ensuring that every child has access to a high-quality education. However, I have serious concerns about the delay in setting education funding decisions and how that is impacting my child’s school and our community. I am worried that North Carolina is not providing the education funding necessary for schools to do their job of educating my children and my neighbors’ children. The idea that the legislature wait until just months before the beginning of the school year to decide on funding jeopardizes school programs, puts schools at risk of additional layoffs, increases class sizes, and further hampers schools’ abilities to meet the needs of all students. I’m concerned that the costs of delivering education continue to grow while per student funding increases have been low for several years and the full impact of previous underfunding is still being discovered. North Carolina ranks 39th in the nation in per student expenditures. Our students need us to do better. As a North Carolina tax payer, I am asking you to set education as the priority, make sure that students are funded first, and figure out everything else after you’ve determined what schools need for our students. The bottom line is that education is an investment – not only in education itself, but also in our economic and workforce development and the future success of our children and our state. Thank you for your time and consideration as well as your commitment to North Carolina’s children. Sincerely,
- Get involved with North Carolina Public Schools!
- Get involved with the North Carolina Foundation for Public School Children!
- Get involved with the North Carolina Association of Educators!