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Video: “The horror:” N.C. Republicans again show they’re out of touch with the reality of teaching in N.C.

During discussion of the 2018 Republican budget, Rep. Dana Bumgardner (R-Gaston) used the example of his father, a teacher and principal in the 1950s, to explain how easy teachers have it in 2018.

“When my dad taught back in the 1950s he got paid for nine months a year” Rep. Bumgardner said, “and in the summer he would go get a job and work, the horror.”

“The horror” 

N.C. has the third highest number of teachers working second jobs outside of the school system.

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics compiled by EdNC over half of all North Carolina teachers have a second job. Though the data doesn’t clarify whether those jobs are specifically held over the summer, it is pretty apparent that teachers in 2018 are working just as hard as Rep. Bumgardner’s father did to make ends meet.

(EdNC, 11/20/17)

The data show that 28 percent of N.C. teachers have a second job within the school system and 24 percent have a second job outside the system. On average across the United States, 16 percent of teachers work second jobs outside the school system.

“He got paid for nine months a year”

Teachers in 2018 get paid for 10 months of work and can opt to have that pay spread out over a 12 month period. That way, N.C. teachers may receive a paycheck in July, for example, but that does not cover any lesson planning for the next school year they did that month. Instead it is back pay they chose not to receive during the previous school year.

“We're not broke, we're not in a hole”

In closing his argument, Rep. Bumgardner admitted N.C. is “not broke” and “not in a hole.” Yet the Republican budget still failed to bring teacher pay to the national average. The state’s failure to adequately fund schools has led to other failures as well. We wrote oncuts to school suppliesand racial achievement gaps.

Republicans are still out of touch

In February we reported on Mark Johnson’s comments at the NC Council of State meeting defending his description of the base starting salary for teachers, $35,000, as “good money” for people in their 20s.

During the teacher’s march two weeks ago, many Republicans fled the building rather than discuss things with their teachers. Rep. Malone of Raleigh left a color-printed sign and an intern to meet teachers who just wanted to explain the realities of working in our schools.

Rep. Bumgardner’s comments further illustrate this failure to acknowledge the reality for teachers in our state.

“I'm really tired of hearing that we don't respect teachers, teachers are getting a pay raise, they'll cash the check,” Bumgardner said, “teaching is a good job, they know what it pays when they go in to it, they do it because they want to, nobody's making them.”