Letter: I can no longer afford to teach

An open letter from a North Carolina public school teacher on her blog:

When I moved here and began teaching in 2007, $30,000 was a major drop from the $40,000 starting salaries being offered by districts all around me in metro Detroit, but it was fine for a young single woman sharing a house with roommates and paying off student loans. However, over six years later, $31,000 is wholly insufficient to support my family. So insufficient, in fact, that my children qualify for and use Medicaid as their medical insurance, and since there is simply no way to deduct $600 per month from my meager take-home pay in order to include my husband on my health plan, he has gone uninsured. We work opposite shifts to eliminate childcare costs.

Read the rest - pass it along.


Here is what will be

Here is what will be happening over the next few years. Fewer and fewer college students will major in education. Teachers with somewhere between five and fifteen years experience will decide that there are better opportunities elsewhere and get out. Teachers with between fifteen and twenty-five years will be just hanging on to retirement. Teachers with twenty-five plus years will be getting out as soon as they reach the magic number. There will be fewer and fewer teachers that will continue to teach beyond thirty years. Remember also that many will leave the profession when the economy improves.

I got my latest pay stub out and did a little math. I have 26 years experience, have a master's degree and National Board certification. My pay is increased by 22% with those two additions to my certification. I believe it breaks down as 10% for master's pay and 12% for NBC. My base salary is $56,389.80 and my county supplement is 2,400.00 (supplements are on a three step scale and this is the top of the scale) for a total gross salary of $58,789.80. If you take away the 10% for master's pay it would be $53,150.82. If I didn't have NBC or Master's pay as is the case for many teachers, my salary after 26 years in the classroom would be 46,384.04

I'm a moderate Democrat.