A recent study found that just 23 percent of 4-year-olds in North Carolina have access to pre-k, below the national average. Meanwhile teacher pay in N.C. remains $7.8k less than the national average and NC teachers make 35.5 percent less than other 4-year college graduates in the state. Teachers pay out-of-pocket for school supplies to meet classroom needs. However, unchecked growth of charter schools has created a fiscal burden on local school districts of $500 to $700 per student.
A number of education-related bills are moving through the NCGA this session, but some appear to do more harm than good. We’ve highlighted three of those bills below.
H485 seeks to address a problem created by Republicans when they rolled back Smart-Start funding and, since then, continually failed to address the growing pre-k waitlist. Instead of funding pre-k, lawmakers want to send 4-year-olds to school online. Experts have concerns about the virtual learning pilot program because the value of pre-k “is less about the skill-learning in reading and math and more about skill-learning in social-emotional domains.” Virtual pre-k is a short-sighted effort to solve a funding failure with long-term impacts.Read More
Last year Johnson faced criticism for claiming that the base starting teacher salary was “good money” for people in their 20s. For reference, Johnson, 35, makes $127,561, but if he were still on the teacher pay scale would be making just $38,000.
Johnson repurposed his now-debunked talking point to again claim teachers in NC are making plenty of money.
“[average teacher pay] is also more than the median wage of a person in North Carolina with a four-year degree for a year. That means that the average teacher is making more than what these median households in North Carolina make, families are bringing home,”Johnson said Wednesday on Wilmington’s Big Talker.
This claim is blatantly false, especially his point about what families are actually “bringing home.”Read More
Hanig ran unopposed for the Currituck Country Board of Commissioners in 2016 and was elected Chairman of the Board shortly after. During his time on the County Commission, Hanig proved he will follow in other Republicans’ footsteps and be yet another rubber stamp for the Republican age…Read More
Donny Lambeth is a Republican legislator currently serving his third term representing HD75 in the North Carolina House. Before being elected to the General Assembly in 2012, Lambeth worked for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center where he held 17 different job titles but most notably earned more than $1 million in a single year as the president.
Remarkably, only two years after Lambeth earned $1.2 million as a hospital executive, he voted against expanding basic health care access for low-income North Carolinians. Despite being considered “the legislature’s leading healthcare expert” he voted against expanding Medicaid coverage for some of North Carolina’s most vulnerable populations. This vote resulted in hundreds and possibly thousands of lives lost across the state due to a lack of affordable health care.
Along with working for a medical center, Lambeth served as the chairman of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board for over a decade and was a deeply controversial chairman. Parents and teachers complained that he “slept through meetings” and was “belligerent.” During his tenure, he criticized the state lawmakers for failing to fund public education.
However, since being elected to the House, he has fallen in line with the Republican trend of prioritizing tax cuts for corporations over paying teachers at the national average. Lambeth voted for multiple Republican budgets that fail to compensate hardworking teachers fairly and shortchange students by cutting education spending year after year.
Furthermore, Lambeth supported voter ID legislation, dubbed the “Monster” voter ID law, that was struck down in court for discriminating against African-American voters with “almost surgical precision.”
Read on for more about Rep. Lambeth.
Source: Morganton News HeraldRead More
Photo: Winston-Salem Journal Debra Conrad was on the Forsyth County Commission for 18 years and has been in office since 1994. While there, she caused tension between the County Commission and the school board. She repeatedly voted against funding more education, instead voting in favor of …Read More
John Bradford was first elected to the Cornelius Town Board in 2011. While there, he supported hiring a private contractor to operate and build I-77 toll lanes. However, when I-77 became a political liability after he was elected to the NCGA, he changed his position. This type of political “courage” is indicative of the rest of his political career.
Bradford repeatedly failed to protect North Carolina children and families while in the House. Bradford voted to block debate on several common sense gun law reforms, including a “red flag” law that would keep guns out of the hands of people convicted of domestic violence, rape or other violent crimes. Bradford failed to keep N.C. schools safe by blocking these amendments to a school safety bill that was criticized for not doing enough.
Bradford also failed give children the tools they need to succeed. Bradford said, “spending more in education will not magically solve the problems we are facing” despite years of failing to raise per student spending or teacher salaries to the national average.
Bradford pushed for laws that protect landlords like himself while putting every day North Carolinians at risk. Bradford is a property manager and owns Park Avenue Properties, which faced dozens of complaints according to Better Business Bureau, but still voted in favor of eviction practices that were deemed “unfair and deceptive”.
Bradford used his position in the House to protect himself and his own interests rather than helping the families in his district.
Rep. Nelson Dollar is a Republican representing House District 36. He has been in the General Assembly for over a decade and has been senior Chairman of the Appropriations Committee since Republicans took control of the House in 2011. Working as House Republicans main budget writer Dollar, according to the News & Observer, “officially […] is senior chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Unofficially, he’s the House gatekeeper.”
Making the Middle Class Tax Shift Permanent
S75 – The “Millionaires Protection Act” is meant to make Republican Politicians radical tax shift from those at the top to working families permanent
The “Millionaires Protection Act” would put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that locks in income tax rates that largely benefit the wealthy – over the last four years the average millionaire saved almost $15,000, while the average family saved only $6 (that’s SIX dollars) a year from the tax changes enacted by Republican politicians.
In order to lock in these huge tax cuts for millionaires, Republican politicians will also be locking in current education funding that is lower per student than it was before the recession and causes North Carolina to be ranked 45th for teachers in the country.Read More
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.”
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 EdNCover 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.Read More
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.Read More