Goolsby: Local government, not state, to blame for low education spending

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Submitted: Fri, 08/23/2013 - 9:22pm
Updated: Mon, 08/26/2013 - 12:04pm

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.


  • Jack Fryar says:

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

  • GuestTim says:

    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 says:

    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!

  • Vog46 says:

    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 says:

    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?


  • Guestwho says:

    Now that we’re all aboard the Goolsby time machine heading quickly for 1950s who needs sound modern education? By 1950s standards we should all be just fine.

    Wake up NC, with a triple-R General Assembly we’ve quickly become the laughing stock of politics. Watch out Texas here we come.

  • Guest123123 says:

    No you are wrong. I was a state employee for 17 years and my benefit package was valued at $13,676. By the way Dublin is in Ireland.

  • Carrie says:

    There is no Dublin County, there is a Dublin town in NC. This is a prime example of why we need our teachers to be highly qualified and receive a fair salary which is not the case. I am a first year teacher I make 33,800 a year. I do not participate in the benefits program for two reasons 1. I receive benefits through the military and 2. I cannot afford the pay in to participate in the benefit program, even if my medical is “free” I still have to pay a 35.00 copay each time I see a doc. That adds up if there are medical issues because that is 35.00 out of pocket for each visit. The state “free” benefit package is for only the educator not their family and is a 70/30 benefit. If I did participate and say it is around $14,000 in benefits then my “salary would be 47,800 which is still low for what educators are responsible for and what goes into educating children. The state is also going to be cutting paying teachers for advance degrees. So after 2014 or so teachers who did not have their Master’s degrees prior will not be paid for career education advancement. They are even considering cutting paying teachers who get their National Board Certification in the future. New polls put salaries for teachers at 50th in a country of 50 states, Hawaii is right there with us. It is only a matter of time before the quality of education matches where our salaries fall across the country. North Carolina does not permit labor unions. Not that labor unions are the end all to fighting for teacher rights because they aren’t. We need to vote these people out of office and put progressive leaders in place who value education and know how to allocate monies accordingly. Gov. Hunt was an outstanding governor who knew education was important and knew not only education was important but also how to provide local resources to counties and school systems to empower our youth, especially our “at-risk” youth.

  • Guest123123 says:

    Texas has one of the top economies in the United States. Probably a good state to follow. I know lets follow the likes California and Mass. Then we really will be going back in time.

  • Lynn Shoemaker says:

    You get to vote him OUT in 2014…sooner than you think.

  • Guest2020 says:

    NC has a Dublin County. My husband worked for the state until they cut his program out of the budget. This is the second job in three years that he has lost due to state budget cuts. I get so tired of people who make more than the average salary, complain about how bad they have it. They need to thank the good Lord they have a job in this economy.

  • Vog46 says:

    I’m not playing spelling police here (Lord knows I can mis-spell just about anything) but it’s DUPLIN County, not DuBlin.


  • WilmingtonTruthTeller says:

    He looks like a 70 year old ‘Dennis The Menace’.

  • elizabeth woodside says:

    Someone ask Mr. Goolsby where his children will be going to school. He sent pictures of his young offspring to us when he was campaigning, implying his interest in the welfare of children. So far he has helped: gut head-start program that improved graduation rates and reduced incarceration. He trashed teacher’s unions despite our weak union in a right to work state. And now he has insulted public schools as ineffective and poorly managed. Is he sending his darlings to a private school with vouchers he helped to siphon away from public schools?

  • SamILM says:

    Once again, the highly esteemed Senator (so smartly dressed) and full of distain proves that he knows more than professionals in the field. Say Senator, where do your children attend school? A challenge – let’s have 5 public schools in NHC invite him to tour their schools; sit in classrooms w/o teacher’s aides and count the inventory that is provided by parents and teachers. Mr. Goolsby, you are nothing more than Art Pope’s puppet. You lie. You cheat people out of their money. You will meet your maker one day.

  • GuestToday says:

    Like most of our current politicians of all persuasion, here was an opportunity for Mr. Goolsby to rise above politics but no, like all wingnuts, he has to call names – “educrats?” Really? THAT really advances the conversation – NOT.

    Boot his a** next election, he doesn’t even seem to have a working understanding of the State’s constitution regarding education funding.

  • Guest52 says:

    The lottery was the “answer”. Our schools aren’t in any better shape than before the lottery. So who’s getting rich off the lottery??

  • nc tax payer says:

    i want to know where is all the lotter money going

  • guesty says:

    But not in the way the lottery was sold to the public. We were told this money would go to the school system (which it does) but that allows the government to reduce the same amount of money from their budget.

    Just to use simple numbers, lets say the schools were to receive $100 dollars. The lottery gives $40 towards the schools so you would think the schools would now get $140 but the government then takes $40 away from what they were going to give and piss it away elsewhere. Then they can spout off how much money the schools are receiving from lottery money. In the meantime, the school still receives $100.

  • Guest2020 says:

    There are a lot of people who have not gotten raises in years. My husband went a few years without a raise and finally lost his job to state budget cuts. An opening came up in a related field and he was given that job. Once again, he lost his job to the state budget cuts. Can you imagine how we are dealing with the higher cost of living? Regardless of how he spends his time off, he still gets more time off from being a teacher than most other people get from their jobs. Teachers in NC make above the average salary for NC. It wasn’t long ago that my husband made less than the teachers do. We managed just fine with a family of four without him having to get a second job.

  • Guest123456 says:

    Did your husband provide for coworkers ( like many teachers do for their students? ) do you think teachers only work from 8-3. Becuase I see them working on weekends, before school and after school. Every teacher I know has to have a second job in order to pay back their education, they get no vacation, and most have to continue school in order to keep their job….to which they have to pay and pay and pay. Educators are very underpaid for the job they are doing

  • Guest2020 says:

    NC teachers make above the average salary for the state.

  • Guest1 says:

    The average NC teacher does not make that much money. Goolsby lies to his constituents and his investment clients!

  • Guest2020 says:

    What contempt for women? And teachers, in general, get put on a pedestal of which they are not deserving.

  • Nancy McCullough says:

    There’s no affection from or for Goolsby when it comes to public schools. His capacity to lie to citizens knows no bounds, nor does his willingness to dismantle our schools. His contempt for the dedicated professionals who teach our kids cannot be hidden — and when added to his contempt for women who are his constituents, cannot be tolerated. Shame, shame, shame on him. He won by just 8% and shall be defeated by a far larger margin.
    Tim Markley is correct. These policies are devastating.

  • Guest123456 says:

    Teachers a very underpaid!!!! My other half is a teacher, has been for over 10 years, not recieved a raise in almost 5 while the bills keep going up. Yesterday we worked on the classroom and I watched as the desk was falling apart, among other items in the classroom. Out of his pocket he bought items for the students ( notebooks, ect ) and dont think they get a summer off. Durring the year he teaches and works on the weekends serving food, then in the summer he works serving food. Very underpaid for the job he has to do. His classroom could use new paint,new desks,new file cabnet and if i had it my way new floors ( it had a mold look in spots )

  • Erlkonig says:

    From the State Constitution…

    Sec. 15.  Education.
    The people have a right to the privilege of education, and it is the duty of the State to guard and maintain that right.

    Nothing in there about high saleries for teachers, and they are well paid.

  • Guestgr says:

    When NC loses all its good teachers to other states, priority is given to private schools over public and standards are lowered, then the GOP will have accomplished its goal: produce a generation of idiots who will be fit for fast-food jobs and the military. ALEC/Koch Bros./Art Pope agenda working like a charm in NC!

  • Claudia Kell says:

    Once again Thom Goolsby shows utter disdain for the people he is supposed to represent by not knowing how education is funded in NC (duh!) & calling his constituents insulting names. We deserve better, & every moronic comment he makes gives us the drive to find someone who will take our concerns seriously, know how things actually work,& not thumb his nose at us.

  • Susan Kranyik says:

    Mr. Goolsby knows that NC’s constitution requires state funding for public schools and that city and county governments do not have the ability nor the legal means to fund public schools per their required and necessary operating budgets. Mr. Goolsby continues to play ridiculous games with the people he supposedly represents, by way of offering lies as facts, purely for his sadistic pleasure. He continually presents his version of “facts” with nothing to back up the claims. While doing so, his constituents have to research his lies and prove to NC that nothing this man says is verifiable or factual. The end result of this charade is that NC citizens are being effectively worn down while trying to prove to the media, the Legislature, and to NC voters, that a slick snake-oil-salesmen-lawyer with a radical, personally fulfilling agenda has committed atrocities to NC children whom do not share his bloodline nor his religious views.

  • Beach Bum says:

    If that is the case, Dr Malarky….

    Then give your salary back to New Hanover County Taxpayers.

    Don’t forget your esteemed colleagues salaries while you are at it.

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