education

Video: Chris Malone can't face North Carolina's rallying teachers, sends intern to answer the tough questions about low teacher pay

Tens of thousands of teachers from across the state rallied in Raleigh on the first day of session to protest lack of funding for education. Teachers packed the legislative building and the gallery of House and Senate Chambers to confront their legislators about what is actually happening in classrooms around the state. After the House and Session senate quickly adjourned, teachers remained in the legislative building to seek out their representatives. While Democratic legislators largely stayed to speak to constituents, Republicans were nowhere to be found.

Instead, inside Republican legislative offices printed on large poster board in color ink (which many teachers across the state could not afford to print at the own schools for their students) were “Teacher Pay Facts” signs. The only problem—the teachers present claimed they had seen none of that money.

Outside of former Wake County School Board Member and current House member Chris Malone’s (R-Wake) office, teachers gathered at an open door hoping to find a legislator to speak with.

Chris Malone could not face North Carolina’s teachers and instead opted to send his intern to answer questions about one of the most pressing issues in the state. Hopefully next time the North Carolina citizens who pay his salary travel to make their voices heard, Malone can give them a few minutes of his time.

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The State of Public Education in NC: What you should know

The state of public education in North Carolina has yet to improve following rollbacks caused by the recession of 2008. Since coming to power in 2010, Republicans have made policy changes that have further eroded North Carolina’s public education system:

Teacher pay in North Carolina has not increased in any meaningful way over the past several years.

  •  As of 2018, North Carolina’s teachers have an average salary $9,600 less than the national average.
  • This puts North Carolina at 37th in the nation for average teacher pay—16 spots lower than the 2001-2002 school year.

Per pupil spending has remained consistently low while Republicans in the General Assembly have prioritized tax cuts for corporations.

  • According to an annual report released by the National Education Association, North Carolina ranks 39th in the nation in per-pupil spending this year
  • North Carolina now spends around $2,400 less per-pupil than the national average per-pupil

Cuts to school supplies are passed on to teachers and parents:

  • Teachers spend between $500 and $1,000 out-of-pocket on classroom supplies,
  • The average family with elementary-age children pays $650 per child on school supplies.
  • The average family with middle schoolers spend $1,000 per child on school supplies.
  • The average family with high school students spends $1,500 per child.

In North Carolina, the achievement gap between wealthy and low-income students widened more than any other state between 2011 and 2014.

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Linda Johnson (R-Carbarrus)

In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Representative Linda Johnson, the Republican from District 83. One of the “top budget-writers”, Johnson serves as a chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and the House K-12 Education Committee. Before being elected…

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rep. Dennis Riddell (R-Alamance)

This installment of Real Facts NC’s legislator profile series focuses on Representative Dennis Riddell, a Republican from Snow Camp, N.C., in Alamance County. Riddell was first elected to the NC House in 2012, and is now in his third term having run unopposed in 2014 and 2016. Riddell’s bid for the House was hardly his first foray into the #ncpol scene. Riddell served as the Alamance County GOP Chair and was active with the Koch-funded NC Citizens for a Sound Economy in the early 2000s.

Riddell spends his time in the General Assembly continuing to advance the Koch's national conservative agenda. He supported corporate tax cuts at the expense of students and teachers, even afterpromising ABSS Board of Education members he would stop the NCGA from cutting TA positions. Riddell supports deregulation in favor of big businesses over protecting clean soil, air, and water for North Carolinians. Read more on him here

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New report highlights that North Carolina public education is falling further behind the rest of the country

The National Education Association released its annual report Monday. It highlights that, despite political talking points, North Carolina continues to rank near the bottom of teacher pay and per pupil spending when compared to the rest of the country.

  • Revised 2017 teacher pay ranking dropped NC to 39th in the nation. 
  • Average NC teacher salary for 2017-18 is $9,600 less than the national average
  • Per student spending for 2018 saw no change in ranking from 2017, still over $2,400 below national average

 

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford)

In this installment of the Real Facts NC legislator profile series, we focus on Rep. Jon Hardister, a third-term Republican representing House District 59 in Guilford County. Hardister first ran for office in 2010, but lost to incumbent Rep. Pricey Harrison. He tried again in the newly created House District 59 in 2012 and was successful. Despite being elected thanks to 2011 districts later ruled unconstitutional gerrymanders, Hardister is a vocal proponent of independent redistricting. However, his voting record says otherwise with support of all Republican redistricting plans since his election.

Hardister rose quickly to power in the NC House and became Majority Whip in 2016. He is an Appropriations vice-chair and serves as chair of the Capital Appropriations committee, giving him significant influence over the state’s budget and the internal dealings that create it. Hardister’s priorities are clear. He helped write budgets that shortchange education and pushed for charter school expansion proven to take money away from NC school districts. Hardister favors deregulation for big business over protecting clean air and water for future North Carolinians. Read more on Hardister here.

This was the right thing to do when Democrats were in power, and it is still the right thing to do today.” – Rep. Jon Hardister on nonpartisan redistricting (Greensboro News & Record, 3/1/15)

 

(Source: Facebook, 8/28/17)
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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rep. Mike Clampitt (R-Haywood, Jackson, Swain)

Real Facts NC’s legislator profile series continues to examine key North Carolina legislators. Here we look at Republican Representative Mike Clampitt, a Republican representative from House District 119 in Haywood, Jackson, and Swain Counties. Clampitt, a freshman legislator, had run twice before against incumbent Joe Sam Queen for H119 before finally beating Queen by around 300 votes in November 2016. Before being a perennial candidate Clampitt worked at the legislature.

In his first term in the NC House, Clampitt has quickly forgotten his district, supporting economic policies that benefit the weathly over working families in his district. Read more on Clampitt here.

(Source: WYFF)
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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rep. John Sauls (R-Harnett, Lee)

In this legislator profile, we focus on Rep. John Sauls, a Republican representative from District 51 in Harnett and Lee Counties. Sauls served in the General Assembly as a Republican from 2003 until 2007, when he left both the party and public office. In 2016 Sauls rejoined the party and was re-elected. He serves on the appropriations committee and as the chairman of the Education-Community College committee.

Sauls consistently supported policies that shortchange education at every level in N.C. He repeatedly voted for environmental policies that jeopardize access to clean water and clean air while also threatening rural economic development. Sauls supported a budget that prioritized tax cuts over policies that benefit working people, including teachers, families, and the elderly. Read more on Rep. Sauls here.

“I will continue to fight for more resources for our public schools and to ensure these resources are being used in the classrooms not wasted by bureaucrats.” - John Sauls

(Source: Harnett News)
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Legislator Profile: Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg)

In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Representative Bill Brawley, a Republican from House District 103, first elected to the General Assembly in 2010. Brawley moved to Matthews, N.C. in 1982 and was a Matthews town commissioner from 1989 to 1993. 

Brawley is a real estate broker. As a legislator, he supported bills that favor the real estate business over the public. Read more on Brawley here

Summary:

Brawley proudly supports private school vouchers that siphon money from our public school system

  • He sponsored a bill that lets Matthews-Mint Hill areas create their own charter school districts, a move CMS said would re-segregate Mecklenburg County.
  • Brawley voted for the 2017 Republican budget that Republican budget allocated $45 million to the controversial school voucher program

“I will tell you I’m disappointed in the quality of the education my kids received,” --Brawley said of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. (Charlotte Observer, 1/5/18)

Brawley is a real estate broker. As a legislator, he supported bills that favor the business over people, putting renters and the public at risk.

  • He sponsored a bill to make it more difficult for towns to inspect residential properties for unsafe conditions.
  • Bill Brawley tried to kill rental housing inspection programs designed to hold landlords accountable and dissuade them from renting to people prone to commit crime and keep neighborhoods safer.
  • In what appears to be a conflict of interest, Bill Brawley, a commercial real estate broker, inserted language into a bill “pushed by the N.C. Association of Realtors” to “expand real estate agents’ ability to perform market analyses of properties.”
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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Ted Davis, Jr. (R-New Hanover)

In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Ted Davis Jr., the Republican representative from House District 19. Before his 2012 election to the General Assembly, Davis served on the New Hanover Board of County Commissioners for 16 years. Davis claimed to be a “lifelong Democrat” before crossing party lines after being approached by the Republican Party to run for County Commissioner back in 1996. Davis ran unopposed in 2016.

Davis currently serves on seven legislative committees. He serves as chair of Appropriations on Justice and Public Safety Committee and Judiciary Committee I and vice chair of Appropriations Committee and Committee of Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House. He is also a member of the Commerce and Job Development, Education- Universities and Elections and Ethics Law Committees. More recently, he was named Senior Chairman of the House Select Committee on River Water Quality, formed in late 2017 to address the GenX issue. Read more on Davis here.

“All I know is that we’re doing something” –Rep. Ted Davis on GenX bill. (WRAL, 1/10/18)

Summary

Davis, whose district is specifically affected by GenX contamination, was named Senior Chairman of the House Select Committee on River Water Quality. Yet he was reluctant to add funding to the DEQ and voted for a budget which decreased appropriations to the Clean Water Management Trust.

  • Davis was reluctant to add funding to a bill that would direct DEQ to analyze statewide emerging contaminants in surface, groundwater, and drinking water
  • Davis voted for the 2017 budget, which decreased funding to the already underfunded Clean Water Management Trust Fund.

Davis was a primary sponsor of HB2, a discriminatory bill that cost NC upward of $630 million. He also supported follow-up “compromise bills” that would have put civil rights on the ballot by making nondiscrimination ordinances subject to referendum.

  • Davis claimed that any civil rights grievances filed following the bathroom bill were “unintended consequences”
  • HB186 repealed HB2 but limited the ability of local governments to pass nondiscrimination ordinances.

Davis voted for the 2017 budget which prioritized tax cuts over funding education and has reinforced the idea that NC is paying its teachers enough despite NC falling below average on teacher and student spending.and students.

  • Davis voted for a budget that fails to meaningfully raise teacher salaries.
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