It’s not a new argument from North Carolina conservatives; we’ve been hearing from the so-called “free market think tanks” for years. Still it was a bit of an eye opener to read the following letter from State Senator Warren Daniel to a North Carolinian who expressed concerns about the state’s abysmal teacher salaries (as first posted at the site Pay Our Teachers First):
Do teachers teach because they love teaching, & they love children, or
because they are paid at some national average? Are you considering that
in addition to the State salary, teachers also make approximately 14
thousand dollars in taxpayer paid benefits, and most counties have salary
supplements? In addition, compared to similarly situated state
employees, a teacher’s work year is approximately two months shorter.
While a department of corrections employee or a highway patrolman may
have to work on Christmas and Thanksgiving, teachers receive vacations
for every major holiday and are with their families. These are factors
that are almost never mentioned in this discussion. Noone believes that
a teacher’s job is easy, but neither are the jobs of many of our state
I hope that we are able to give all of our state employees a raise the
session, but as you mentioned we do have serious budget issues to contend with. And sometimes the only solution to that, is to gore someone
else’s ox in the form of cuts to other departments.
Thank you for your comments, and for recognizing that we have serious
government challenges in this economic downturn.
Senator Warren Daniel
NC Senate District 46