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BOILING SPRING LAKES, NC (WWAY) — We’re just weeks away from the start of school and the Brunswick County school system is losing one of its top educators.

Richie Brown is leaving his post at South Brunswick High School for a job in the private sector, but says he is worried that more of his former colleagues may soon follow if there isn’t a change in the bottom line.

“I was about to be a seventh-year teacher, and I would be paid the same as I was as a second-year teacher,” said Richie Brown. “When you get into education you know you’re not going to become a millionaire. I wasn’t getting into this because of the money, but you still expect to be compensated fairly”

Brown and his wife Kristina, who is also a teacher, were trying to have another child and realized that it was going to be extremely difficult on them financially.

To be able to afford his expanding family Richie says he was forced to look for another job outside of education.

“I will definitely miss being able to teach those kids but one thing I’m looking forward to is being compensated fairly for one and having a chance to move up in the world,” said Brown. “I can actually go up in this company and get promotions every year and get raises every year.”

The Brunswick County Board of Education isn’t taking the loss of one of its top educators lightly.

“Some of our best and brightest teachers simply cannot afford to remain in the classroom,” said Charlie Miller, Chairman of the Brunswick County Board of Education. “Many of the teachers leaving are those who since entering the profession are making the same salary they did 6-8 years ago. The loss of these teachers absolutely impacts the classroom. Serious consideration must be given as to how we can stop this epidemic.”

Brown says there is an easy solution to keep teachers from following his lead and that’s for school systems to pay more, but he knows that’s not possible without more support from the state and federal levels.

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65 Comments on "ONLY ON 3: Low pay forces teacher of the year candidate to quit"

Concerned citizen
2015 years 10 months ago

We clearly need good teachers and it is sad to hear of good teachers leaving the profession. That said, we need reform and accountability at the governmental, school, parental, and student level. Examples: We need reform of the tax code where ALL pay into the system and welfare reform where the government stops giving out money to able body Americans. We need to formally establish a year round position to account for teacher hours and then pay them a fair salary. Many do put in extra hours, there are also many who don’t. Teacher tenure needs to be eliminated; we need competitive performance to keep folks from becoming complacent. Last and probably most importantly, we need parent and student accountability and engagement. Televisions, phones, I-pods, and video games need to be turned off; homework needs to supervised; and after school jobs, sports, and other activities should not be the # 1 priority of a student/teenagers life.

2015 years 10 months ago

If they are educators, they were probably incapable of handling the courses for a real education. Education majors are near the bottom of the pack when it comes to IQ. A lot of people who cannot handle the load that their chosen majors require. When this happens a lot of them choose education since it is an easier course to complete. It’s like the old saying, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”

Christy Spain
2015 years 10 months ago

Teachers are 10 month employees and do not get paid during the summer. Rest assured the summer months are spent preparing for the upcoming year. I attend IEP meetings during the summer with no pay. I attend professional development during the summer at my expense. I spend an astronomical amount of money each year ensuring that my classroom has everything needed to make lessons meaningful. The money I spend on students will holes in their shoes, socks for the sockless, and buying lunch for them when they can no longer charge. What do you do on your days off?

2015 years 10 months ago

Nice blanket statement but there seems to be very little consistency in the studies comparing public versus private education.
Both sides trot out there favorite studies, it seems.
One thing I do know is that private schools don’t pay as well as many think. For many schools it all about the bottom line, so they take teachers who may be qualified and some that are not, and pay them 5% more that the state or county does and then lay claim to “private industry pays teachers better than the public sector.”
True but 5% more than nothing is still very little.
I’m NOT convinced private schools are better, yet, and no longer have any dogs in this fight, but as a taxpayer I know I pay their salaries and also know that a vibrant education system is critical to the long term health of our economy.


2015 years 10 months ago

I recently was in Asheville, and talked with a Special Ed 6th year experienced teacher who is leaving NC to teach in SC. She will not only have fewer students, but a big salary increase. She had NOT received a pay increase since her first year as a teacher in NC. Can one blame Richie Brown, or the many others who will do the same? I am a retired NC teacher, and I remember the 80’s having salaries frozen. I know how hard I worked for years. It is very disheartening to know that we are now again doing the same, only this time it’s much worse. NC public education will continue to lose its best and brightest due to need for fair compensation, like Richie Brown, and many others will do. Our teachers work very hard, and most are dedicated to their students. Our lawmakers have made some really stupid decisions that will impact education in our state for a years to come. It is a terribly sad and misguided path they have chosen for NC, by short-changing our children’s future. Incomprehensible!


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