State superintendent pushes income tax exemption for public school teachers
 

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The state's top educator wants to take some of the financial burden off North Carolina teachers.

State Superintendent June Atkinson is urging lawmakers to consider exempting public school teachers from personal state income taxes.

North Carolina ranks 46th in teacher pay. Atkinson says something must change to make the state more competitive in attracting good teachers.

"The single most important resource in schools that helps kids to be successful is a classroom teacher," Brunswick County Teacher of the Year Laura Hunter. "That should be the place that we pour resources and support in every way we possibly can. Right now we're not doing it."

Hunter says state budget plans show state leaders do not value the work of teachers.

"In our society, we pay what we recognize as valuable," she said. "The way we are paying teachers in North Carolina says that we don't value what they do in their classrooms."

She says teachers, including herself, often have to work two and sometimes even three jobs away from school, just to make ends meet. She says this is the reason the turnover rate for teachers is so high.

"Teachers come in, they're invested in the process, but after five years of seeing no pay increase, they leave to other professions and to other states," Hunter said. "Our kids cant afford that.."

Shallotte Middle School teacher Martie Arrowood says better pay or money saved through an income tax exemption could help teachers focus on only one job.

"Which means they've got more time for the classroom, time for preparation, or just more time for family," Arrowood said.

Atkinson fears that if nothing is done, the future of our school systems may be grim.

"I believe that we will be in trouble as we go forward if we do not have competitive wages for our teachers," she said. "And we need to keep the talent, the expertise and the confidence in our public schools."

We tried to contact local legislators to see what they thought of Atkinson's idea, but they were either in meetings, or we did not hear back.

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incentive based pay?

Make the teachers who exceed mandated performance levels for students eligible for additional compensation. Over time, encourage those, who consistently fail to meet mandated performance levels, to seek other employment opportunities.

This, frankly, seems to be another dart at the wall attempt to solve a problem.

Two years ago, Smiley thought "Palm Pockets" for every teacher was a solution.

Sometimes, it really seems they have no idea what to do.

Education is important.

So get the rowdy, disruptive element out of school and home with parents who can not or will not control them.

Raise teacher compensation levels for those teachers who produce results year after year.

Let's not forget; for the most part they work 9 months a year. When reference is made to second jobs, they're worked during those 3 months when school is out.

Tom:
“incentive based pay?
Make the teachers who exceed mandated performance levels for students eligible for additional compensation. Over time, encourage those, who consistently fail to meet mandated performance levels, to seek other employment opportunities.”
I have to disagree with this because teaching, unlike corporate work where the bottom line is a measure of success is different. In teaching you have three parties - parents, teaches, and kids. The teacher could be doing all the right things and fail to get the kid to learn anything. The parents might not be involved meaning the kid doesn’t study nor do homework. Individual goals are good for some evaluations but typically you give out raises based upon corporate performance. If the year is good you give out raises. I like the idea of merit increases but would tie it to state performance not individual performance. There are too many teachers that would teach to the test in order to get a raise then teach the kid how to learn – which is far better but harder to quantify.
“This, frankly, seems to be another dart at the wall attempt to solve a problem.
Two years ago, Smiley thought "Palm Pockets" for every teacher was a solution.
Sometimes, it really seems they have no idea what to do.
Education is important.
So get the rowdy, disruptive element out of school and home with parents who can not or will not control them.”
I agree with this completely but just keep in mind that the simple act of getting rowdy under performing kids out of class will elevate test scores – making these teachers qualify for merit increases. Is this what we want? I say yes it’s a good start. Smirky wants job skills taught. If they are easier than the college level curriculum are these teachers going to get merit raises year after year? The subject is very convoluted and it’s too easy to say pay teachers based upon “merit” when in fact “merit” for a teacher is hardly even defined. Then there’s the whole other problem of outside influences affecting student performance which the teacher then pays the price for.
“Raise teacher compensation levels for those teachers who produce results year after year.”
See above but even the best corporations know that continuous improvement is not always attainable. We seem to have this production versus quality argument going on when in fact most folks know that in our haste to create zero defects production does sometimes suffer.
“Let's not forget; for the most part they work 9 months a year. When reference is made to second jobs, they're worked during those 3 months when school is out.”
One thing we should do is extend the school year like Germany, England and other industrialized nations. I could easily agree with going from 180 to 220 days per year.

Vog

They already teach to the test.

I tend to believe that already as well.
Ok - so the schools "get tough" they remove 10% of non performing, class interrupting students from the school. Test scores go up by say 2%.
Teacher hasn't changed a thing
Teacher hasn't put one ounce of extra work into the job

Yet if we use a merit system this teacher would qualify for a pay increase.
Conversely, a teacher gets her class to attain at high levels comparable to other classes and plateau's at that high level. Since there's no INCREASE in test scores that teacher doesn't get a raise.
Same with that teacher who works hard, is innovative but who can't get the parents to step up at home to make sure little Johnny is doing his homework. She won't get a raise.
I have never been in a situation at work where my performance was judged by what other peoples test results were. Yes I have been in management where my team's performance was "measured" and that measure was applied to my revue but I had total control over that team and "made them do their homework". So I was teacher AND parent to my team.

Teachers cannot be both so they lose control over the hoped for outcome for the students. In industry I could fire team members who didn't perform, teachers can't.

There's way too many things that can negative impact a students performance - so using "merit" becomes very problematic for me.

Vog

Why should teachers get any special tax exemption because of what they do. Everyone else pays so should they

Why not for teachers? I have a good friend who retired with a 6 figure federal government pension who pays no NC income tax and he never lived a day in the state until after he retired...Bailey ruling..

"BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The state's top educator wants to take some of the financial burden off North Carolina teachers."

If he truly wanted to take some burden off of them he would have educated them to vote republican 40 years ago, then their retirement would have been funded, their cost of living would have been lower, and for sure their fuel taxes would have been less, now they along with everybody get's to enjoy the fruits of their practice, we are all suffering from this mess, at least they get a steady paycheck, no matter how poor the results of their students perform.

It was a Republican cabinet who got our country into this mess in the first place by dragging us into a war that would only benefit those who have stock in certain companies and investing the American dollar in corporations that seek to strip our country for eveything it is worth (Haliburton).
This arguing about which side is right and wrong is exactly what politicians want, if we are arguing with one another then we are not watching what they are doing.

Fact check, Iraq was a war authorized by Congress, which at the time was democratic controlled!

If you are talking about the Vietnam war that was the Johnsons that profited, if you are talking about Iraq and 9/11, that was Bill's fault for not taking Laden when he was offered to us, if you are talking about Afghanistan or Benghazi, that would be your present commander in chief's deal, none of them are repubs.

This is crazy. Where is lottery money when you need it. These folks need to make better career decisions . Alert there is no real money in teaching. There is money in the central office and in asst principal and principal positions. So do like the rest of us and strive for those better jobs. Education jobs in raleigh Dept of education have insane salaries. I am tired of all these civil servants thinking they are worth more than they really are. Get a promotion or move on to a college position or just move on.

I meant to ask someone if it was a slip of the tongue or not, but at the graduation for WBHS on Saturday either the principal or the superintendent said that there were approximately 1200 students and 1800 faculty and staff. That sure is an odd ratio, if true.

Obviously, you have not factored in the people who serve lunch, office personnel custodial staff, SRO/ law enforcement offices, counselors, psychologists, social workers, on site mental health personnel; just to name a frw. There are special education classes that legally require more than on adult in the room at a time. You obviously have not spent time in any public school environment where exceptional children reveive their legally required services!!!!

I am sure the legislators will find Atkinson's idea as ridiculous and totally unbelieveable as all the others who work and pay taxes in NC. If teachers want big bucks, let them choose another profession.

This mentality is one of the problems with our public school system. Sure, a county manager can make $70,000+ every year and not have to buy one bit of office supplies and no one bats an eye. Teachers typically make a paltry salary of $30,000 or less to live on and are expected to keep their classroom stocked with supplies without funding from the school.

If anything needs to be changed in our tax codes, religious organizations should have to pay property taxes. Look at the Baptist retreat on Oak Island, the land is valued at $450,000+ and the only thing paid to any government entity was a $10,000 Fire Department fee to the Town of Ocean Isle. If we're serious about resolving our deficits, perhaps we need to look at who is using American resources with contributing.

Good idea about taxing religious organizations...Let's all do what we can to close down the 600 Catholic hospitals and 1,400 long-term care and other health facilities in all 50 states. Who needs non profits in the health care field anyway.....