“The floggings will continue until morale improves” — that appears to be the new motto for the state’s conservative political leaders when it comes to its approach to public education. If you think that’s an exaggeration, check out this story by Travis Fain from the Greensboro News & Record. As Fain reports:
“Top state officials are kicking around a plan to pay young teachers ‘significantly more money’ than they make now, according to state Sen. Jerry Tillman, who co-chairs a pair of key education committees in the N.C. Senate.
Such a proposal would overhaul the state’s existing pay scale for teachers, jacking up salaries for teachers in their first five years instead putting so much emphasis on longevity, as the current scale does.
Tillman, in town Tuesday night for a political roundtable, said he discussed the plan last week with Gov. Pat McCrory.
‘He’s serious about it,’ said Tillman, R-Randolph.”
To which, all a body can say in response is: Say what? Do these guys not pay any attention at all? Do they not read stories like this one about fabulous, veteran teachers taking off for other states because they can’t pay their bills? Can they not even remember what they were like when they were 25 and compare it to their knowledge and effectiveness during middle age?
The bottom line: Boosting salaries for young teachers is a fine idea — too many are working three jobs now — but the notion of doing it in lieu of raising wages for veteran teachers is close to insanity. A much better solution, of course would be to raise salaries significantly for all teachers.
Either that or define “young” to include anyone 65 or under.
P.S. Be sure to check out the newest NC Policy Watch feature on the plight of average teachers at “Your Soapbox- On the front lines: Educators’ stories inside and outside the classroom.” And while you’re at it, send a note to Gov. McCrory and Sen. Tillman urging them to do the same thing.