Response has been overwhelming to Sarah Ovaska’s story  where she broke the news of the huge raises given to 24 year old staffers in Gov McCrory’s Department of Health and Human Services. One comment from Peggy Raymes, an elementary school principal, to the post yesterday particularly stood out and I thought I would post it:
Dear Governor McCrory,
I am the principal at Margaret Willis Elementary school in Cumberland County. I have a dedicated staff that has been working “on their own time” this summer to be ready for our boys and girls next week. They have not been paid to attend training or prepare classrooms during their ” vacation.” They do this because they are dedicated professionals who see the big picture, when it comes to the impact and the value of public education, on our future. I am concerned that the 2 young men referenced in this report have been awarded substantial pay increases because of their job performance. I am extremely discouraged that these 2 young men were given those pay increases when I have teachers in my building who have been working for 8 years, and are still only receiving a ” 3rd year ” teacher salary. I am struggling to understand what type of job performance constitutes a 37% salary increase, when the students at my school, (with a free and reduced lunch population of 80%), have made high academic growth for the past 5 years on our NC End of Grade tests. Would that type of job performance not warrant some type of salary increase? As a veteran educator with 30 years of experience, and as a Commissioner from Stedman, N.C. I would respectfully like to request the opportunity to sit down and talk with you, Governor; but what I would really like to happen, is for you and my legislators to come and spend one day at Margaret Willis Elementary School, or any public school in NC, for that matter. I believe that after that encounter you would be able to find alternative measures for balancing the state budget. I do not believe you are the kind of man who would sacrifice the future of the children of our state, but I do believe that you are listening to advisors who do not have a clear picture of the benefits of a sound and free public education; nor do they understand the impact their recent decisions are having on our schools, and ultimately the future of our state. So, my question, Governor McCrory….do we give 37% pay increases to young men who worked for your campaign, or do we pay the teachers in North Carolina a fair wage? I look forward to hearing from you.
Margaret Willis Elementary School