COVID-19 was a catalyst for NCGA-11 policies. A crash course in why NC needs Leandro-21 and how you can help before Nov-8

While the dedicated educators who remain in our schools with frozen salaries cover extra duties without extra pay to keep school operations afloat, the NC General Assembly is paying itself over 4 months worth of overtime as it “works on” a state budget that was due to take effect July 1. They have an $8 billion “surplus” that could be used toward the $8 billion court-order but so far Berger, Moore and their posse refuse. It’s no surprise since they’ve been undermining the strength of our schools since taking majority power in the NC General Assembly in 2011.

Credit: Public School Forum of North Carolina

Today we’re further behind meeting the commitment to a “sound, basic education” than when the Leandro case was first filed.

On November 8 Judge Lee is expected to order state funding to fulfill its duty to students. On November 8 NCGA leaders Berger and Moore are expected to continue to defy the rule of law and gaslight North Carolinians with false claims about their commitment to education and how our constitution works.

North Carolinians are out of patience. We’ve waited 27 years for the state to offer funding that fulfills its constitutional mandate. Read more here.

There’s a court order and plan they can just copy into the state budget to make it happen but NCGA leaders like Berger and Moore have yet to demonstrate a commitment to the success of public schools though they’ve shown strong commitment to gaslighting North Carolinians otherwise.

Educators are out of patience and leaving the profession in droves. Too many North Carolinians blame only the challenges of the last two years when the biggest challenges have been compounding over the last decade.

Here’s a message from the State Retirement site

Here’s the public school job postings – over 22,000 vacant positions posted

Here’s Senator Berger and Representative Moore’s response

Here’s a sample of what’s happened on their watch to break the educator pipeline and discourage veterans into leaving education:

Elimination of Master’s pay

Gutting of Teaching Fellows program to attract high performing HS students to the professsion

Refusal to allow North Carolinians to vote on a state school construction bond despite encouraging growth

Elimination of health care in retirement for new hires

Eliminating longevity pay for veteran school employees (though keeping it for other state employees)

Leaving public school employees out of the $15/hr minimum wage granted to all other state employees

Cutting income taxes at state level leaving local governments to increase property taxes to keep public services afloat

Eliminating state class size caps on grades 4-12

Eliminating thousands of teaching assistant positions for grades K-3

All educators making less money than the purchasing power of schedules offered before GOP gained control

This is not coincidence, this is by design

Even before the pandemic, they’ve wanted to institutionalize the current triage model that is driving so many highly qualified educators away from our schools

Former Supt. Mark Johnson offered a presentation in 2019 showing a cubicle hell version of students on computers with occasional interaction with a teacher. Sitting on a floor was labeled “flexible seating.”

Former Governor Bev Perdue and former Rep. Craig Horn raved about “virtual pre-K.”

We used this model as an alternative during a global pandemic of a novel virus. It has no place as a permanent model for public education in North Carolina.

Instead of doing what it takes to ensure an “expert teacher” in every classroom, they’re doing what they want in creating conditions that will pave the way for fewer highly qualified educators working directly with students. I don’t want one “North Star” a few degrees of separation from my children, I want a galaxy of all-stars working directly with them. Don’t you?

Here’s a summary of the 2019 salary schedule budget proposals where Berger and Moore continue to claim benevolence and convince you they tried to raise teacher pay but it’s Cooper’s fault (for offering a better plan?)

Here’s a breakdown of 2021 teacher salary schedule budget proposals and how they compare to the purchasing power of the 2004 schedule when the second Leandro case confirmed inadequate state support.

Notice how veteran teacher pay has been frozen and flattened to discourage experienced educators from staying.

After praising the Senate proposal above months earlier, here’s what state Supt. Truitt said recently about the importance of competitive salaries….for her circle. We’re still waiting for her to offer the same defense for frontline educators with this revisions to her original statement defending DPI administration pay increases.

Here’s more proof the NCGA is slow walking its commitment to fulfilling the Leandro mandate to our students

Tell your NCGA reps, Berger & Moore: Enough of your games stop playing Jenga with our schools!

Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger: Phil.Berger@ncleg.gov

House Speaker Tim Moore: Tim.Moore@ncleg.gov

Find your NC Senate and House member’s contact info here: ncleg.gov/FindYourLegislators

State Superintendent Catherine Truitt: Catherine.Truitt@dpi.nc.gov

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