ONLY ON 3: Low pay forces teacher of the year candidate to quit
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.