an open letter to the nc senate:
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i was flipping through bill 402 for some light reading, and i found three lines that struck me as rather important. surely, these three lines weren’t buried within an over-400 page document in hopes they might just slide by, right? for your convenience, dear senators, i copied and pasted the words here.
PHASE OUT CERTAIN TEACHER SALARY SUPPLEMENTS
SECTION 8.22. Notwithstanding Section 35.11 of this act, no teachers or instructional support personnel, except for school nurses, shall be paid on the “M” salary schedule or receive a salary supplement for academic preparation at the six-year degree level or at the doctoral degree level for the 2014-2015 school year, unless they were paid on that salary schedule or received that salary supplement prior to the 2014-2015 school year.
so, let’s just make sure we’re on the same page – this tiny section states that teachers who are not receiving master’s pay in the upcoming school year will not earn it in the future, no matter if they earn a masters or phd.
meaning, if i may be so bold,
that teachers wouldn’t have fiscal inspiration to enroll in a maters program or complete one currently in-progress. the bill isn’t saying they shouldn’t, of course, we can’t have that impression – it simply states that the debt taken on by enrolling in one won’t be paid back by a higher salary. meaning teachers with higher education, some whom we could call dr, are as valuable to the state as 22 year olds with a bachelor’s degree.
oh! and dear senators, i copied and pasted a few words from the state constitution. i will paste them below for your convenience.
Each Senator shall represent, as nearly as may be, an equal number of inhabitants, the number of inhabitants that each Senator represents being determined for this purpose by dividing the population of the district that he represents by the number of Senators apportioned to that district;
so, if i may,
the job of the senate is to represent the people of the state, broken into districts. yes? of course it is! we know this, because we learned it in elementary school! some of us learned it in public elementary school, but don’t fret – we got our tetanus shots.
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i would like to introduce you to my wife. she is the teacher of the year at a north carolina elementary school.
it’s a public school.
my wife is currently enrolled at a university in north carolina to earn her masters of education.
that means she’ll be even better at her job.
she’s pregnant (oh – it’s a girl!) with our baby.
my wife works a full time job of loving and teaching 3rd graders, interacts with parents, is an active member within the school environment, puts up with me, goes to graduate classes and works her heart out doing the work assigned, and is pregnant.
we made the decision for her to enroll in school for a masters because it would be a long term gain for our family – she would earn more over her career with the masters pay, and the extra salary would help erase the debt taken on in student loans for her program.
i, too, am enrolled in a masters program (at ncsu, if you must know).
we decided, dear senators, that hard work was worth the effort because higher salaries would be a boon to our family. instead, if the bill goes through as is, with those three sneaky lines, our family will simply be facing more debt, because of loans, without a means to pay them back.
my wife is an inhabitant of this state
i am an inhabitant of this state.
our daughter will very soon be an inhabitant of this state (october birthday!).
thousands upon thousands of students within the public school system are inhabitants of this state.
my wife deserves your best.
my sweet daughter deserves your best.
the students deserve your best.
so, maybe it would be a good idea to keep the masters salary as is. maybe it would be a good idea to support teachers becoming better teachers so our schools can be better schools and our students better leaders for tomorrow.
maybe it would be silly to keep stripping public schools of resources, such as TA’s, raising class sizes, removing incentive to earn higher education degrees, and wonder why the public schools are struggling.
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i tell ya what,
you go have surgery done in a hospital with no nurses and a doctor just out of med school who also has to provide your anesthesia and he’s got twenty or so other patients that day,
and i’ll be cool with your bill as it is.
make good choices, and remember that you represent all of us.