January 17, 2014
Teachers deserve more than pennies
Former Gov. Jim Hunt has showed great leadership — the type of leadership missing in North Carolina right now — by drawing a line in the sand. In an opinion piece in the Raleigh News & Observer, Gov. Hunt called on Gov. McCrory and the NC General Assembly to agree to a bipartisan plan to raise North Carolina’s teacher pay to the national average in the next four years.
“Our hard-working teachers deserve it,” said Gov. Hunt. “Today their pay ranks 46 among the 50 states. They could make as much as $10,000 a year more just by moving to South Carolina, Virginia or Tennessee to teach.”
To reach this big, bold goal in four years, four things need to happen.
• North Carolina residents must see it as critical to the success of every child in our state. We the people must want to do it, we must speak up for it and we must pay for it.
• The governor and the General Assembly must believe it is necessary and must pass a law this year to do it.
• The governor and the legislature must appropriate the substantial money required each year to reach the goal.
• Over the four years of this effort, as we close in on the national average, the State Budget Office must calculate how much additional funding is required each year in light of the other states’ raising their own pay levels.
These funding commitments must be very large, so the governor must recommend money each year and the legislature must appropriate it.
This may sound daunting. It is. But North Carolina did it before, and we can do it again. — Fmr. Gov. Jim Hunt, 1/5/2014
“We owe them a fair salary, and we owe it to their students.” — Fmr. Gov. Jim Hunt, 1/5/2014
By the way, if you or someone you know has been affected by low teacher pay and other cuts to public education, share your story.