by Anna Manning
North State Journal reports on this year’s teacher walkout scheduled for May 1:
The N.C. Association of Educators (NCAE), an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA), has announced another teacher protest to take place in early May.
In a Facebook post over the weekend, the NCAE stated that “May 1 will be a Day of Action for public education.”
“I’m sad to say, we still have enemies on Jones Street,” said NCAE President Mark Jewell in the post. “It’s time we paid them another visit.”
“If it wasn’t clear before, it is now: The NCAE is a far-left political organization that uses the teachers and students it purports to represent as a tool to advance its leaders’ unrelated political agenda,” Senator Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell) said in a statement to North State Journal.
JLF’s Terry Stoops offers comments on teacher pay in North Carolina:
“North Carolina teacher pay has grown at the third-highest rate in the entire country over the last five years, and teachers absolutely deserve it. Yet the NCAE leadership is still calling for a strike on May 1,” Hise said.
When the Republicans took over a majority at the legislature in 2011, teacher pay had been frozen by former Gov. Beverly Perdue and the Democratic-held legislature. One of the results of the freeze was the state’s NEA ranking tumbled to 45th in the nation.
Since that low point, the state has increased teacher pay and increased school funding while to bypass 18 states and is ranked 29th by the NEA this year. The rank of 29th for teacher pay, however, does not take into account other factors, such as cost of living, bonuses or benefits packages. Dr. Terry Stoops of the John Locke Foundation says when one adjusts for cost of living, North Carolina’s rank climbs to 20th.
Since 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly has raised pay 19 percent and has been third in the nation for fastest rising teacher compensation rates. The state’s current average teacher salary is now $53,975, which is an average increase of $2,741, or 9.5 percent, over the previous year.
Read more here.