NC Budget: Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

Well North Carolina has managed to once again prove why it is one of the most incompetent states with regard to politics and its understanding of education and its needs.

Under its proposed budget the State  Senate Pro Tempore couldn’t help but pat he and his fellow politicians on the back for a job “well done.”

“To offer, at this time, the largest teacher pay increase in state history,”  Phil Berger said during a media briefing on Tuesday. And I’ll stop him right there at his obvious sentence fragment. My best guess is he is proud of the Senate’s accomplishments, and some how throws in the word historic to make it

Pardon me Mr. Berger while I go vomit. Despite your obviously impressive John Houseman name, you sir have no clue as to what you are talking about; either that or you are the complete and utter moron that I peg a majority of politicians these days to be.

The proposed NC Budget offers teachers a pay raise of “about” 7 percent. So far no explanation of what “about” translates to but being a math teacher it would equate to less than or equal to and I’d wager it would end up on the less than side before all the self aggrandizing by Berger et al is all said and done.

What Berger fails to mention is where that “about” 7 percent is coming from. The plan calls to move $65 million from the teacher assistant line item to pay for teachers. So the state essentially is stealing from moneys used to pay for much needed teacher assistants to give teachers like myself raises. Teachers depend on their assistants and not just in regular education settings in elementary school. Secondary schools and even the elementary schools have an increasing need for special education assistants. Those people are irreplaceable and the students who depend on them don’t function well without them.

Naturally it makes sense to those in charge who know nothing of education to pass policies and or budgets that would eliminate that resource. Pay Paul by robbing Peter to provide some window dressing and silence some critics; great idea North Carolina.

So to take money from funding those positions to give teachers a raise is sad and immoral, and this is coming from a teacher who hasn’t seen even a modest increase in salary in “about” 7 years. (See what I did there?)

It seems to me as much money as certain state employees get in comparison to teachers (4.5 percent longevity pay for staffers compared to 1.5 for teachers) they could reallocate some of that money in the budget where things are more fair and equitable. Teacher salaries are still among the lowest in the country and the excuse making won’t help with disgruntled teachers.

The problem is this, the state holds all the cards, they hold all the keys, and they don’t feel an ounce of pressure from any teacher organization and certainly not one teacher complaining in a blog. They are the “Agents” from the Matrix essentially.

A major reason why that is, is because North Carolina has an abundance of schools of education and they crank out new teachers yearly or bi-yearly so the state never has a shortage of local candidates. So they don’t care if veteran, experienced or talented teachers leave the state or teaching altogether, the bottom line for them is there will be warm bodies to go in the classrooms who can teach to the ever

If the state institutions of higher learning don’t crank out enough replacements then there are always the out-of-staters who come to North Carolina for the experience and then get the hell out of dodge and go back home to better pay benefits and treatment.

So it doesn’t mater to Berger or any of his cronies in Raleigh that teachers are unhappy. They will be portrayed as greedy and ungrateful for not happily accepting the “about” 7 percent pay raise and going about their day bearing the weight of all the criticism and expectations that fall on teachers thanks to other moronic government-written and initiated policies and programs. (Cough, No Child Left Behind, Cough Common Core, Cough Race to the Top, Cough, Cough, Cough.)

The historic budget is just another in a long line of window dressing designed to make the general public feel like education in this state is headed in the right direction but realistically its eroding at its core, a core of hard-working, talented teachers who are fed up, mad as hell and soon won’t be taking it anymore.





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