Moore should drop opposition to raising teacher salaries by 10 percent

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N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore said he opposes giving public school teachers a 10 percent raise, saying it would cost too much. His decision, undoubtedly supported by most Republican legislators, indicates they care little about our public schools, where salaries are among the lowest in the nation.

What must children have in order to learn? The essential thing is committed teachers with a say in how their schools are run and who are properly rewarded for their difficult work. They must provide personal attention that comes from small class sizes and caring adults in the classroom, with materials and lessons that connect with students’ lives.

Teachers’ rewards are not only financial; proper salaries are also validation from society that they ultimately serve.

Denying decent pay denies validation. Speaker Moore’s rationale for opposing raises is bogus. Partly because of the improving economy, the state has a surplus and a “rainy day” fund. The money is there, and the schools are being rained on.

So what’s the real reason? Keeping salaries low, providing state-funded vouchers for students to attend private schools, and promoting charter schools are part of a plan to undermine the public schools and make them ghettos for the poor and underprivileged. This makes no sense!

Every report of test scores shows that students in high-poverty areas are ill-served by their schools. Therefore, they see few prospects for a good life. An effective, nurturing education helps change that. Effective education requires that our schools attract teachers, not drive them away.

Poorly educated citizens damage our democracy, divide our society and hurt everyone. We all have an interest in making our public schools, and the citizens they produce, the best they can be.

Richard C. Arnow

Dawoud Salaam

Dennis Benjamin

Mousa Shehadeh

Monaca Gilmore

Chip Smith

Kim Eng Koo, MD, FAANS, FACS

Martha Tesoro

Naeema Muhammad

Kay M. Watson

Saladin Muhammad

Rick Watson

Shirley Whitaker

Rocky Mount

Comments

Philippines

As you pointed out the Philippines and other nations are poor countries with many problems including muslim terrorism. Although the very top students in those countries do well there are also many millions who do not. It seems like many people from India or of Indian heritage do well in India and the USA. It seems like many Indians are successful engineers, doctors, and businesspeople. However, that may be a stereotype because we are only looking at the cream of the crop in India or the USA. If every Indian was doing very well then India would still not be a backward nation with poverty etc.

So is it possible?

My point was only that it is possible to rise above one's situation and excel. No amount of money thrown at teachers will fix that. The cream of the crop you mention took personal responsibility for their future. Something we are losing in this country as we want to blame everything and everyone for whatever our lot in life is. Yes, those countries are mired in poverty yet many rise above it. Isn't it ironic, that as wealthy (financially) as our country is, we face the same problems ie poverty, muslim terrorism etc.

Funny Letter

Please explain how India, China, and other below income countries, continue to produce outstanding STEM educated students. They continue immigrate here because our educational system fails to produce enough qualified individuals in those field. Surely US areas that have higher paid teachers should be able to overcome that based on your thesis. Please take the time to tell readers how countries such as the Philippines, which is mired in poverty, continues to produce doctors, lawyers, nurses, accountants, engineers from such "ghettos" as you indicate. Your letter is a disservice to thousands of students who have succeeded in such environments. The letter says nothing about personal responsibility or I guess that means nothing to the signees.

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