The following is a press release from the North Carolina Association of Educators
RALEIGH, N.C. – Every child deserves an opportunity to be successful and North Carolina’s public school educators are making that happen each day. With average teacher pay and per-pupil spending rankings in the bottom tier of the nation at 42nd and 46th, teacher attrition rates at historic levels, and the enrollment training programs at our institutions of higher learning at dangerously low levels, we must restore respect to the education profession in order to recruit and retain teachers.
“Educators are every day heroes who are providing opportunities for our students to be successful,” said NCAE President Rodney Ellis. “If some of our basketball teams were ranked 42nd and 46th, there would be a state of emergency declared. North Carolina faces a teacher shortage crisis, and instead of using surplus budgets to invest in our public school students, educators, and schools, some in the General Assembly have prioritized rewarding corporations and the wealthy with more tax breaks.”
During a press conference at the North Carolina General Assembly this morning, Ellis and NCAE called on our elected leaders to stand with public school students and educators and commit to restoring respect to the education profession by:
- Ensuring that every child, regardless of Zip code, has an opportunity to reach their fullest potential.
- Developing a comprehensive plan to improve per-pupil spending to at least the national average and to maintain it.
- Developing a comprehensive plan to pay educators as professionals by increasing average salaries to at least the national average and to maintain it.
- Developing a comprehensive plan to professionally compensate education support professionals, principals, and assistant principals.
- Restoring basic due process employment rights to ALL educators.
- Restoring Master’s Pay and restoring Longevity Pay as a separate bonus.
- Restoring textbook, technology, and instructional resource funding to pre-recession levels.
- Eliminating or modifying the current A-F grading system of schools, recognizing that student growth is disproportionately undervalued.
- Maintaining the Defined Benefit Contribution plan and protecting other health and retirement benefits for educators.
- Funding a scholarship program for college students preparing to become public school teachers.
- Investing in professional development opportunities for educators.
- Committing to visiting public school classrooms and talking with public school educators.
NCAE is the state’s largest education advocacy organization for public school employees and represents active, retired, and student members.