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
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.
Per pupil spending has remained consistently low while Republicans in the General Assembly have prioritized tax cuts for corporations.
Cuts to school supplies are passed on to teachers and parents:
In North Carolina, the achievement gap between wealthy and low-income students widened more than any other state between 2011 and 2014.Read More
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…Read More
In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Representative Larry Yarborough, the Republican from House District 2. Before joining the General Assembly in 2014, Yarborough was a County Commissioner in Person County.
Yarborough has a degree in chemical engineering and was the primary sponsor of H56, a bill that provided GenX funding and was tied to the repeal of the plastic bag ban in the Outer Banks.
Yarborough has consistently voted for more tax cuts over public education. He voted for the 2017 Republican budget that continue the trend of cutting taxes rather than raising per pupil spending and the 2016 and 2015 budgets that let education spending in NC fall even further behind.Read More
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.
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.
In this legislator profile, we focus on Rep. Gregory Murphy, the Republican representative from District 9. Murphy was appointed in 2015 to fill the vacancy created when Brian Brown left to work for Sen. Thom Tillis.
Since his appointment in 2015, Murphy has fallen in line with his Republican colleagues to enact policies that weaken environmental protections, shortchange education, and prioritize tax cuts for the wealthy over policies that help hardworking North Carolinians, including rural communities, teachers and families. Read more on Murphy here.
“I hope to be able to contribute to the health, education and welfare of the people of eastern North Carolina and our entire state.” - Greg Murphy (02/16/17)
According to the News & Observer, State Superintendent Mark Johnson described the base starting salary of $35,000 for teachers was “good money” and “a lot of money” for people in their mid-20s. Johnson’s comments were criticized by some school board members for failing to reflect all of the challenges faced by teachers. In tuesday’s Council of State meeting, Johnson doubled down on his comments.
Johnson likes to tout his classroom experience, having spent two years in the classroom, two on a local school board, and having just finished his first year as Superinendent. With those 5 years of experience in public education, if he were still on the teacher pay scale he’d be making $38,300 – less than a third of the $127,561 he currently makes with the same amount of experience in public education as an elected official.Read More
In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Representative Holly Grange, the first-term Republican from District 20. She was elected in 2016 after a contentious Republican primary decided the seat as there was no Democratic challenger. Grange currently chairs the House Select Committee on North Carolina River Quality, a committee created in the aftermath of the GenX crisis in her district. She also sits on the Appropriations on Education Committee.
"The idea of shutting down Chemours might make some folks feel better, but we hope the DuPont spinoff stays open as long as it's no longer taining the water." - Rep. Holly Grange (Wilmington Star News, 7/29/17)
Grange’s priority as a lawmaker are clear, instead of looking out for middle class families in her district she’s protecting the wealthy and well connected. Grange’s district is suffering from the aftermath of the GenX spill, and her solution is to get rid of environmental protections for big business. She altered the language of the budget to fund a state aquarium to be built on a prominent Wilmington developer’s “mega-development.” She ran on teacher pay, but voted for a budget that failed to raise their salaries to the national average while per pupil spending has actually gone down over the last school year.Read More