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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — As local education administrators call for state lawmakers to increase spending in schools, Sen. Thom Goolsby says the group he affectionately calls “educrats” needs to do its homework.

But educators say it’s the senator who needs to check his facts.

Southeastern North Carolina’s biggest school system will start the 2013 school year without a few of its top teachers, including last year’s Teacher of the Year, who left the education field due to what they called lack of competitive pay.

“When you lose a young teacher of that caliber, it has a tremendous impact,” New Hanover County Schools Superintendent Tim Markley said. “When they tell their story about having to leave because their pay wasn’t enough to help them support their family, that’s a message to other young folks entering the profession.”

Sen. Goolsby (R-9th District) recently took issue with claims like that, pointing out that the average teacher in North Carolina makes close to $46,000 a year with benefits pushing that total closer to $60,000.

“North Carolina, as far as state government goes, is No. 11 In the country as far as funding,” Goolsby said. “Where North Carolina falls down is on local funding for education, but you never hear that from the ‘educrats’ and the (North Carolina Association of Educators).”

Goolsby says that if people are concerned, it is their local government that needs to step up.

“That’s the way other states do it that spend more,” Goolsby said. “That’s the way North Carolina can do it if the people want it, if the city councils and county commissions are willing to do it.”

But Dr. Markley says that’s simply not possible.

“The Constitution of North Carolina is pretty clear that the foundation for a sound basic education rests with the state,” he said.

Teachers in North Carolina received a 1.2-percent pay increase last year. It was their first pay increase in more than five years.

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31 Comments on "Goolsby: Local government, not state, to blame for low education spending"

Jack Fryar
2015 years 10 months ago

I cannot wait to vote this tool and his lunatic friends out of office. 2016 can’t get here soon enough.

2015 years 10 months ago

Dr. Markley should stay away from politics and tend to his job. Senator Goolsby has raised a valid point: that NC spends a lot on education–more than most states–but local governments spend nothing compared to other states. Dr. Markley simply dismisses this out of hand. He would rather take a cheap shot at Senator Goolsby who is making a lot of sense on education spending. Markley has no business doing the bidding of the Rev. Barber’s Moron Monday antics! I urge the school board to restrain Markley’s partisan political activity.

An Educator
2015 years 10 months ago

I am going to say it, Goolsby is an idiot who has no clue! First off, to say NC teachers have a yearly benefit package of $14,000 a year is laughable and to assign cost (and blame) to local counties is simply saying that not all children deserve the same education. How can a poor county such as Pender or Dublin offer the same package incentives and extra pay to teachers as say New Hanover, Wake, or Mecklenburg county? So, you don’t live in a well-to-do area? Your children don’t deserve as good an education as say, Goolsby’s children do living in a wealthier county . Also, I guess, if you are educator, you better worry more about where you live than care about any child you might teach. AND this is Goolsby wanting the taxpayer to FURTHER foot the bill! How are these local counties supposed to pay for this? That is right – RAISE taxes. Mr. Goolsby, your condescending attitude and speech is getting a bit old, especially since YOU don’t know what you are talking about!

2015 years 10 months ago

Clearly states it is the States responsibility to fund education and use fees, penalties and fines to do so. The county in which those fines are levied are to be used for education.
Thom has apparently forgotten this. Some of these fees and fines are set by the state, not the county.

He is however right that we COULD use local funds – if the county deemed it appropriate – but – considering how anti tax/fine the tea party is I am surprised he even thought of this as it goes against the tea party platform.
What he is doing is proposing a “tax and spend” policy at he county and city level.
Politicians are all alike – they like to spent other people’s money.


Blame Game
2015 years 10 months ago

But Dr. Markley says that’s simply not possible.

“The Constitution of North Carolina is pretty clear that the foundation for a sound basic education rests with the state,” he said.

So the Local Leader of our schools says only the State GOV can give a sound education? Why is he there then? How much does he make a year to say the State should provide?



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