NC Teachers

Damning report on teachers' out-of-pocket expenses

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When government austerity creeps into the classroom:

Pencils, pens, crayons, construction paper, T-shirts, snacks and, sometimes, a pair of shoes: The costs add up for public school teachers who reach into their own pockets for classroom supplies, ensuring their students have the necessities of learning. Nearly all teachers are footing the bill for classroom supplies, an Education Department report found, and teachers in high-poverty schools spend more than those in affluent schools.

The report, prepared by the National Center for Education Statistics and released Tuesday, is based on a nationally representative survey of teachers during the 2015-2016 school year. It found that 94 percent of teachers pay for classroom supplies, spending an average of $479 a year. About 7 percent of teachers spend more than $1,000 a year.

Keep in mind, this is a national report. When your state's per-pupil spending hovers in the bottom 20% of schools nationwide, the burden that falls on teachers (and their students) is that much greater. We can no longer afford the GOP's bait-and-switch, where they moan about out-of-control spending, cut back on programs, brag about surpluses, then give huge tax cuts to the rich. And then when budget time comes again, they restart the same old formula. It amounts to incremental decay of our public education system, something that takes decades to repair. This is not a new problem; teachers have been suffering this funding nightmare for years. So why now? Why the big push for more responsible government funding? Because in the last 25 years or so, teachers' incomes have been steadily declining in comparison with comparable non-teacher professionals, making it much harder to make ends meet:

GOP attack on teachers crosses the line

Your First Amendment rights mean nothing to the tyrants:

The majority of the crimes listed in the bill make perfect sense if the goal is – as it should be – to keep our students safe.

But the inclusion of Article 36A, which includes the act of remaining “at the scene of ... disorderly conduct by an assemblage of three or more persons, following a command to disperse,” departs from that sincere desire to protect our children. It means that individuals who have been arrested for protesting the lack of textbooks and toilet paper in North Carolina schools could be denied teaching careers, and those already teaching could potentially have their licenses revoked due to such an arrest.

Again, the stifling of school teachers is a signature trait of authoritarian/totalitarian regimes, and the fact Republicans would so casually include something like this in Legislation proves they simply do not grasp the basic concepts of democracy.

Bait & switch for teachers, McCrory style

A chicken in every pot, unless those nasty wolves snatch it away:

Gov. Pat McCrory presented a package of education spending proposals Tuesday that included a 5 percent average teacher pay raise and bonuses that would average 3.5 percent. Unlike the 2014 event, McCrory made Tuesday’s announcement without legislative leaders and other lawmakers who focus on education in attendance. It is unclear whether leading Republican lawmakers support McCrory’s plan.

Senate leader Phil Berger’s and House Speaker Tim Moore’s offices did not respond to questions. In January, Moore said teacher raises were likely to be in the 2 percent range.

This is all getting so tiresome. McCrory makes promises the Legislature has no intention of honoring (roads, bridges and broadband), giving them both plausible deniability when those promises evaporate into thin air. Kabuki theatre at its finest. And of course the timing is suspect as well:

Dan Forest actually doing something good

From the Asheville Citizen-Times: Lieutenant governor: Teacher screening legislation expected.

Yes, we do need rigorous, statewide criminal background checks for those teaching our kids.

But will the legislation that Lieutenant Dan is suggesting apply to teachers in taxpayer-funded charter schools, or to teachers in private schools that receive taxpayer funded voucher funds?

Teacher tenure in the hands of NC Supreme Court

A formal hearing to decide if they deserve a formal hearing when fired:

The N.C. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Monday in a legal dispute over public-school teacher pay and policy reforms from 2013 that led to protest marches and rallies in the state capital. At issue is whether a plan to phase out tenure adopted in 2013 amounted to an illegal taking of contract and property rights.

Judge Linda Stephens wrote the majority opinion for the N.C. Court of Appeals. For the past four decades, Stephens stated in the opinion, the “career status,” or tenure, section of the law governing teacher and principal employment contracts “have been a fundamental part of the bargain” that thousands of teachers across the state “accepted when they decided to defer the pursuit of potentially more lucrative professions, as well as the opportunity to work in states that offer better financial compensation to members of their own profession, in order to accept employment in our public schools.”

Possibly the most important aspect of tenure is the reduction in "arbitrary" dismissals, the firing of someone based on subjective personality issues. If a supervisor knows he or she is going to have to explain the reasons for firing an employee in front of a board, they also know their leadership capabilities are under scrutiny. "I just don't like her" isn't going to work in that environment, and it shouldn't. It also shouldn't work when firing teachers who have yet to reach tenure, but that's another discussion. Personnel management is complicated, and requires a lot more effort than most are willing to give. But when you've put your time in, you deserve a guarantee of fair treatment.

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