A bus bound for Raleigh today picked up teachers in Charlotte and Cabarrus County to join the last Moral Monday protest. They’re upset North Carolina’s education budget doesn’t include pay raises, eliminates tenure, and sets aside money for vouchers to private school.
Andrew Shimko just finished his first year of teaching. He loves teaching, but he says he’s going to Raleigh because he feels like the General Assembly is working against him and his colleagues. For one, he points out North Carolina is ranked 46th in the country for average teacher pay.
“I’ve got a lot of friends, we’re all young teachers, we all love what we do, but it’s hard to scrape by when it’s every bill you pay, you’re having to worry about how to pay it,” says Shimko.
Comments like this worry long-time CMS teacher Larry Bosc. He’s concerned new teachers will begin leaving the profession and young people won’t even consider teaching as a career. He says lawmakers are piling on teachers this year. They’ve also gotten rid of tenure and eliminated the salary increase for teachers who earn a masters degree.
“The idea that we’re not going to reward teachers for continuing lifelong education is astounding. That would be a nice way to say it,” says Bosc.
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Association of Educators chartered the bus. CMS school board members Mary McCray and Joyce Waddell also joined the group.