NHCS Board urges state to repeal mandate

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Submitted: Wed, 12/04/2013 - 3:38am
Updated: Wed, 12/04/2013 - 4:50pm

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Dozens of teachers and their supporters wore red in support of education at the New Hanover County School Board meeting.

“Right now there is a mass exodus of highly qualified, fabulous North Carolina teachers leaving,” said Janna Robertson, a UNCW professor.

To encourage teachers to stay and stand up for better treatment, the group stood side-by-side in unity with a clear message, continuing their protest against education and teacher pay cuts.

“It’s kind of a cry for help. I’ve been teaching for five years. I haven’t seen a raise and they’re taking tenure away,” said Nikki Strawn, a teacher at Wilmington Early College High School. “Do I stay in a profession that I literally can not afford to stay in or do I keep hoping for change?”

There may be change coming for teachers like Strawn.

Tuesday night the Board voted to pass a resolution against the General Assembly’s mandate that requires 25 percent of teachers in each district get a $500 annual bonus and a four-year contract in place of tenure.

“We are asking them to repeal that and come up with a different kind of plan,” said School Board Chair Don Hayes.

Hayes said as a former educator he understands the teachers’ concerns and hopes the Board’s resolution will increase teacher morale.

“All we are attempting to do is to show we are supportive of our teachers here,” he said.

The Board hopes its decision will inspire other school districts to take a similar stand.

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27 Comments on "NHCS Board urges state to repeal mandate"

Eric Allgrim
2015 years 8 months ago

I think it’s common knowledge that North Carolina’s reputation nationally for their public education has always been shaky at best which is why its almost understandable that many folks who have been born and bred and grew up down here don’t see the need to spend public dollars on education,especially those who chose not to have children themselves. Its seems the general philosophy of, “since I don’t have kids, and I won’t see the first hand benefit for paying into public schools, I shouldn’t have to pay” is rampant. However, since so many of us have moved down here from states north and elsewhere to pursue job opportunities, nicer climate, and excellent state universities, we also bring with us a sense of value and expectation for a quality, public education for our children. As an experienced North Carolina teacher who works with some of the most physically and cognitively challenged kids, and a parent of two of my own children, I am less concerned about my salary. I am more concerned about the ho-hum attitude toward schools and teachers across the state. If The schools said we will freeze teacher pay but dump the money instead into school supplies and maintaining smaller classrooms, I would feel a little better. Better for the outcomes for my students as well as my two kids. I would imagine some of the content of this post may p-ss some people off, but hey, as a public school teacher and a parent, I pretty p-ssed myself.

2015 years 8 months ago

It’s not really about tenure. It’s about the students. It’s about a human profession. How can one “quantify” the nurturing that teachers do on a daily basis? We can’t expect the state to be able to fairly compare a 3rd grade special needs teacher with a high school AP teacher. The AP kids might have higher scores, but the third graders may be making huge gains in learning as well as social skills. There is simply no fair way to quantify our children.

beach guy
2015 years 8 months ago

If they are getting more money what are they complaining about?
This whole thing reeks of union muck raking for political gain
as in the mean old republicans do not want to educate the kiddies so you better vote democrat or the school system will fail woe is me think of the poor little children.
wah! wah! wah!
Using fear and the uniformed to garner political power is the oldest trick in the liberal play book.

Riddle me this o supporters of the union?
If your teachers are so great how come we are the laughing stock of the k-12 world when it comes to math science reading comprehension and every thing else it takes to get a job in the real world?
Why do High school graduates have to take remedial classes to pass a junior college entrance exam?
Isn’t this what you good people get paid to do?
If I do not do my Job I will get fired and I been here 15 years so suck it up and just actually do what you are paid to do. geez!
I say we make sure to un-elect any of these idiot members that voted for this garbage!!!

2015 years 8 months ago

There is not a teachers union in NC. Collective bargaining is illegal for public employees in NC. The state is spending “more” on education due to population growth, yet far below what is needed to maintain the current system. NC teachers are currently paid 46th out of 50th nationwide.

2015 years 8 months ago

“If they are getting more money what are they complaining about?”—- Did you read?? Or are you too conservative to think for yourself?? They are not getting more money. Only 25% of teachers would get more money and choosing that 25% is riddled with a process that is unfair and no way justifiable. And furthermore it is a process that would pit teacher against teacher and stifle collaboration and cooperation that is so vital in the educational system. THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT!!

“This whole thing reeks of union muck raking for political gain
as in the mean old republicans do not want to educate the kiddies so you better vote democrat or the school system will fail woe is me think of the poor little children.
wah! wah! wah!”—- Where did you see any thing in this article that brought up democrats versus republicans? Furthermore education should be ran not by politicians but by educators!! That is the biggest shame of all this mess.

“Using fear and the uniformed to garner political power is the oldest trick in the liberal play book.” —- I believe that trick is found in the conservative playbook as well buddy. Just look at the fear mongering and uniformed Tea Party my friend.

“Riddle me this o supporters of the union?
If your teachers are so great how come we are the laughing stock of the k-12 world when it comes to math science reading comprehension and every thing else it takes to get a job in the real world?
Why do High school graduates have to take remedial classes to pass a junior college entrance exam?” – Maybe it has to do with overcrowded and underfunded classrooms, society who views education not as a priority, parents who take no accountability, families who are overcome with financial burdens and idiots like you who prefer not to invest in quality educators.

“Isn’t this what you good people get paid to do?” — Oh if only that was our only job! Just to make sure they can pass a test! Wheeeww teaching would be a breeze if all we had on our plates was to make sure they could pass a test. Your ignorance of what teachers do is astounding!

“If I do not do my Job I will get fired and I been here 15 years so suck it up and just actually do what you are paid to do. geez!” — Well you see that is the problem. We do MORE than what we are paid to do. How often do you go into your job after hours and off the clock to do some work?

“I say we make sure to un-elect any of these idiot members that voted for this garbage!!!” — What?? These Republicans are not following your tea party agenda? Does that upset you?? Maybe you should think about electing Board of Education members who actually have a background in Public Education and not those who you think will push your conservative agenda!

2015 years 8 months ago

You clearly are not a teacher and haven’t a clue what you are talking about. Look up the cost of a bachelor degree and a masters in education. Then look at what teachers are paid starting out. They are barely scraping by and working two jobs to pay the bills. They put in 50+ hours a week on raiding other peoples kids AND creating lesson plans and activities to meet the needs of ALL kids: the average, the gifted, the gang members, the abused who can’t focus, the emotionally & behaviorally disabled, special needs kids of all kinds, teen parents, etc. these kids bring so many problems with them yo school that often it doesn’t matter the curriculum or instructor, what matters is if the kid showing up wants to be there, be respectful and attentive and actually do what you are asking them to go. Teachers are expected to teach EVERY child the same information to pass the same test…I’m wasting my time on you.

donna greene
2015 years 8 months ago

We are not the laughing stock…how uninformed are you….take your 500.00 dollars and shove it. We have fallen from 21st to 48th in the country in teacher pay and every bordering state pays 10,000 more. I haven’t had a pay raise in 5 years and have had 2 pay cuts. I am retiring this year good luck replacing me. Union???/give me a break…They take remedial classes because it all starts at home. 60% of children in NC live in poverty. They are never read to, sat in front of a TV, and I am suppose to fix it. Judge me on the two sons I raised 99%, wish I got that quality of students. Laughing stock??? we scored 2nd in the state and have worked 32 years to educate all who were sent to me. I have been doing my job….good luck replacing me NC, best and brightest leaving in droves…

2015 years 8 months ago

Welcome to reality. Even then, teachers have it far better than a lot of people. People who have taken ACTUAL pay cuts. 100% pay cuts.

Southern Born
2015 years 8 months ago

You sir just pegged the Moron Meter.. While I agree with your position on OBAMA, I simply defer that sitting back and waiting till it gets better is what got us here to start with. My advice is let those who are willing to make change by their own means of revolution do so without your banter. I commend any and all who make a stand to improve themselves and their quality of life by any means necessary.

Those kinds of sacrifices are what made America, not sitting on your high horse making sure we all roll around in our own pity pot.

Mommy, Mommy, I don’t have anything of value, make sure Johnny doesn’t either, that way we can converse in our misery, and he cant complain about it.

John T.
2015 years 8 months ago

You obviously have never worked in the education system.

2015 years 8 months ago

…where the good lord splitcha!
Don’t get me wrong, I love and respect qualifed teachers (note the term “qualified”). I wouldn’t be here reading and writing if it weren’t for them. However, the plight of the teacher is no different than anyone else. Only the high paid executives that cheat the general public and worthless politicians get raises and bonuses anymore. This economy is as stagnant as a Mississippi swamp in drought and NOBODY is getting ahead. Teachers, you are just in the same boat as everyone else, so sit down and enjoy the ride, there’s more to come from our great leader.

“Tenure”? Well, the new method of contracts is a bit more motivating. Nobody deserves a “guaranteed” job like our politicians get whether qualified or not and simply based on service, not performance. While there are wonderful teachers out there that do a fantastic job, there are still a substantial lot that of them that would be better off as toilet swabbers in a cheap hotel. I’ve had them, I’ve seen them, I’ve met them and so have my children…they need to GO! Hopefully, those are the majority in that “Mass Exodus”.

For the remainder of you, I feel your plight because I’m there as well. It isn’t just about you “the teacher” as ALL of us feel the same pains, but this is a great place to live and if you really need to move for another quarter, there’s a line of qualified candidates a hundred deep waiting to take each and every one your positions before you chair even begins to get cold!

But hey! Then you can go get your “affordable” health care package for you and your family! It has been carefully and concisely developed by the man that got us all where we are today and made just for people like you (wink)! Enjoy!

Eric Allgrim
2015 years 8 months ago

The vast majority of the teachers leaving are the ones who can put on their resume that they were successful teaching in the one state that puts the least amount of money into public education. That really helps the ol’ resume when you interview up north where the pay is better and the school districts have hundreds, if not thousands of applicants applying for one position. The teachers that remain down here are the ones who know they have no shot at getting into one of those states that offer a $20,000 annual pay raise with active pay raises. The whole country is not broke. The bigoted political right wing in NC just wants to make you think it is.

2015 years 8 months ago

Our state and local officials cater only to criminal bankers like Chip Mahan of Live Oak Bank, John Mack of Maorgan Stanley and corporations like PPD who have not lived up to employment promises. That is why North Carolina is the banking capitol. NC Teachers are worst paid in nation with more getting taken away. This is to benefit bankers lifestyle and work ethic. Teachers know how little they get paid, but if they saw how little bankers worked for what they earn, then there would surely be a riot. Sad, but it is the kind of scum we are dealing with in NC.

beach guy
2015 years 8 months ago

So now it is people that get a better job than teaching whom are at fault. All of these people have a degree they CHOSE to be a teacher they could have easily become a banker. Get my point it was a CHOICE they made it let them live with it. They knew teacher pay scale when they CHOSE to become a teacher. Are you seeing a pattern here? We all should be responsible for the CHOICES we make not liable for the CHOICES others make. Just so you know all that scum you refer to pay 65% of the income tax in this country so those whom CHOSE to be a teacher can get paid and besides they are not getting anything taken away except tenure which is A position that no other employee in this right to work state can enjoy, so if you are crying out for fairness cry me a river because fairness you 99%’er is exactly what you are getting.
Also it is spelled Morgan send your teacher a thank you note for that one.

2015 years 8 months ago

1. There is more money in the Republician passed education budget than the last Democrat budget.

2. With a 58% success rate,clearly not all teachers are worthy of any pay.

3. Quality teachers are finding increased pay at charter schools.

4. Maybe the local school board should instead reevaluate the salaries of certain secretaries/mistresses.

2015 years 8 months ago

They have re-normed the tests. 58% today will be 80% in 5 years. That’s the way standardized testing works.

2015 years 8 months ago

not sure what they want here.. the budget ADDED money to education and gives PERFORMANCE bonuses…

Just another...
2015 years 8 months ago

Please tell me how you measure performance in education? I can come to work, do my job all day long with the best of them. However, how do you accurately measure performance? It’d be easy if the products we produce, looked the same, thought the same, acted the same, came from the same mold. But they don’t. Do you compare your own children and say they should be exactly the same?

I doubt it. How can you expect merit pay to work when the outcomes can vary day to day, child to child, hour to hour.

Guest Timekeeper
2015 years 8 months ago

Competent teachers are not concerned with tenure, just like employees everywhere that do their job. The only ones worried about losing it are the low performing ones who use it as something to hide behind to keep their jobs. There should be no tenure or contracts. Officials should be able to terminate any low performer at any time. It is time the taxpayers got what we pay for.

2015 years 8 months ago

As a competent teacher who has her national board certification, has been nominated for teacher of the year 4 times out of two schools over the course of 7 years, and has excellent test scores, I can assure you….even the competent teachers are concerned with losing tenure. With the influx of teach for America corps, veteran teachers are being replaced with cheaper, younger teachers.

If I am offered the contract negotiations and supplemental pay I will not accept it. I’ve gone without a raise since I started teaching and I’m still making what a first-year teacher makes – I don’t think an extra $30 a month is going help me at all and it is certainly going to change the collaborative nature of teaching. It will create an us versus them environment which will only further hurt the children.

Although I will admit that there are bad teachers at every school, I will say that even a bad teacher has to work pretty hard. You try handling 60-100 kids every day and doing paperwork every time you turn around, and living with the disdain of people like you and see how much you love your job.

I’m a lucky one. I love my job but I hate the treatment.

2015 years 8 months ago

Does that mean that only the “Less Qualified” remain? How insulting can this professor be, is she insinuating SHE is less qualified? I believe just the opposite is true, the bad ones are running scared because the light is putting them in focus!

Paige Haney
2015 years 8 months ago

Go Green!!! You are 100% right! Well said and THANK YOU for everything you do!!

2015 years 8 months ago

You can’t read a barn door from one side to the other, much less a post that has any intelligence to it! I simply stated in no uncertain terms that the teachers have no more reason to complain than anyone else. That’s it. Simple, yet difficult for you.

There is no “revolution”, there is no “sacrificing” by the teachers as you ramble about. They are complaining and theatening “Mass Exodus. That isn’t a “revolution” or “sacrificial” worthy response by any means of the imagination. This isn’t my pity pot, I have an outstanding career and substantial accomplishment, but everyone except the greedy and the crooked are stymied for the time being. Things will change, but cry-babying because you no longer get a lifetime tenure and have to “EARN” your longevity will change zero. The “qualified” teachers that do an outstanding job have absolutely nothing to worry about, just as well as myself in the private sector.

Now, “Southern Born”, your post just went well beyond mine on that “Moron Meter” you describe. You succeeded not only by twisting the needle slam off of it, you fried every circuit that drove it!

Southern Born
2015 years 8 months ago

Time some one explained to you that just because you stated it. doesn’t mean it doesn’t borderline on idiotic. as far as reading the inside of a barn door, I can read you. wherever you have been you have made many of opinions, your own specific facts. here is betting you have spent most of your life sound boarding your inflated sense of intelligence to anyone who didn’t have the capability to flee your presence. One last thing I’ve seen a plenty of barn doors in my life and I bet I live on more property make more money and have a better life than some over bearing jerk who wants to talk about teachers and how they should address issues in their own live. while I find your perspectives disturbing yet well thought out. (Oop’s) I just went out read the back side of my barn door it said. “Guest O Crybaby is a idiot and a moron.

Oh and before you word NAZI my post, if you cant understand it get an intelligent person to help you, where we went wrong in this country is when we started using paper to determine intelligence, and then we got some real idiots sounding smart when we got spell check..

I quit school in the 5th grade… worked around barn doors all my life have a 100 acre spread and can read, I know enough to stay out of others business, but not this time my wife is a TEACHER you idiot.

2015 years 8 months ago

Spent 11 years in the public school system in 3 different states. 6 years in the higher education system. 30+ years employed in a highly technical/management capacity in the private sector.

“Tenure” isn’t a complex subject. Current economics across the board in the US is widely known and recognized. Job growth is nil, salary advancement is nil and good jobs are very difficult to secure, especially in this 10-12 dollar an hour town. Benefits are QUICKLY waning and it’s going to get worse.

I simply don’t NEED to have worked in the education system to understand the plight of not only the “teacher”, but every other average American worker as well!

a teacher
2015 years 8 months ago

that would be “who” and “choose.”

2015 years 8 months ago

Actually, you are incorrect. I am NOT getting paid according to the scale I agreed to 16 years ago. I made investments based upon what my scale said I would be paid and now I work a second job to keep from losing my property. Those of you outside of the educational system have no clue.
And by the way, correct your run on sentence at the end and send me a thank you note.