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The “genius of the market” impacts the teacher pay debate

TeachersAccording to the market fundamentalist think tanks, North Carolina teachers are not really underpaid or overworked. Over the last several years, their websites have been replete with articles informing us that North Carolina has a comparatively low cost of living, that teaching is not a year-round profession and other such arguments that supposedly should allay concerns about teacher well-being.

Meanwhile, over in the real world, the evidence to the contrary continues to accumulate. One would hope that the latest news from Wake County (“Wake County sees an ‘alarming’ rise in teacher resignations”) would finally convince these folks of the error of their arguments. After all, here is a classic “free market” moment — a point in time in which people are acting on the ground based on rules of “supply and demand.”

This is from coverage of the story at WRAL.com:

“Teachers in Wake County have been leaving their jobs mid-year at a greater rate than in years past,” Assistant Superintendent Doug Thilman said. “Given the flat pay scale over the past few years, the recent legislated removal of both career status and higher pay for teachers with graduate degrees, increased teacher turnover has been expected.”

Don’t be surprised, however, if the groups find some new way to dutifully parrot the Pope-McCrory line in the coming days and come up with some creative explanations as to why so many teachers are leaving. And you can bet just about anything that their take won’t include a call for across-the-board raises.

5 Comments


  1. Alex

    April 18, 2014 at 9:25 am

    I don’t begrudge teachers for wanting more money, but when you look at the current job market, there are thousands of college graduates who would like to trade their part-time restaurant and retail jobs for a full-time teaching position with excellent benefits. It’s very possible that many of these folks weren’t cut out for teaching anyway, and only took those jobs because nothing else was available at the time.

  2. Gene Hoglan

    April 18, 2014 at 10:03 am

    But wait, the genius of the market is the high teacher turnover rate. It keeps the labor costs to a minimum (excepting of course for the explosion in useless admin positions), which allows for greater tax cuts for all the glorious job creators.

  3. Alan

    April 18, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    What nonsense… yeah, I can just see all those graduate restaurant workers desperate to take one of those full time teaching positions. What color is the sky in your world? “Excellent benefits”? What on earth are you talking about? So Team Civitas’s spin on all this is the teachers who resign really weren’t cut out for it and it was the only job they could get at the time? It couldn’t possibly be anything to do with the lousy pay, CRAPPY benefits, loss of tenure, rock bottom morale, a legislature that simply cannot be trusted with public education, etc. etc. etc.?

    Clearly, it has nothing to do with the state GOP, after all, they are fully committed to to public education, aren’t they?

    Maybe if we just privatized it all it would be magically better? Even better yet, why not privatize it all, hire unqualified “teachers”, and rely on government handouts (welfare) to run it all, and all is good?

  4. Alex

    April 21, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Nothing but idle talk Alan. I doubt you even know what the details of the benefit package include !

  5. Alan

    April 21, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Alex, if I wanted to listen to “idle talk”, I’d pay more attention to your anti-(insert topic here) commentary on this blog. I’m all too familiar with the benefits package, my wife works in the public education system.

    Surely you can do better than that?

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