Vol.#29: Well, A Happy Anniversary to Me

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Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/theresasthompson/2311733808/

Today marks one-year from my very first post on “Teaching Speaks Volumes” titled Vol.#1: Saying Goodbye. I had planned on writing the predictable retrospective post with analysis on how blogging has changed me this year.

However, sometimes an opportunity for material simply presents itself.

My post last week about the NC Senate budget went viral. Well, by my standards, anyway. I am typically excited to get four or five hundred visits per post on TSV. However, when last I checked, “The Blame Game” had received 62,869 visitors and counting. Discussion in the 60+ comments has given me several topics I look to writing about in upcoming posts.

Apparently when I wrote viscerally and emotionally, it was entertaining. However, it also did not reflect my best research. That post was truly “shot from the hip” and it shows in the facts:

  • National Board pay is NOT being proposed to be cut. (Yet.)
  • They will “grandfather in” people who currently hold higher degrees.

Please know I was writing a reaction to what I understood to be true at the time and I’m sorry if I caused any confusion.

I also think it’s worth pointing out that while I’d been incensed, I’d not been not shocked. I’d thought, “They can’t do this!”. But I’d never once thought, “They wouldn’t do that. This must be a mistake.”

This, to me, speaks volumes of both the state of education and the mental state of its teachers. There’s only anger left. You can’t take anything else away that would actually surprise us anymore.

As I said to several commenters on that post, the fact that my own pay is “grandfathered in”  may make it so I personally don’t have to leave the state (which I was considering likely necessary), but the unfair treatment of colleagues and the profession as a whole is no less outrageous. It will certainly impact every educator.

The idea that we will honor some degrees and not others creates quite an inequity. Young people would little have reason to join our noble ranks as public school teachers. I foresee an even greater burden placed on those of us still in the trenches as older teachers retire. Also,  many are currently working on (and paying for) their degrees now, but won’t be done by the magic 2014 deadline. Finally, and I hate to be negative, but the fact that they aren’t taking those things away now won’t mean they never will. Teachers have gone without the step increase for many years, despite costs of living increasing. The trend of removing support past the lines that they swore they’d never cross continues annually.  The bottom line is I still strongly believe now is the time to stand up for the education of North Carolina’s young people. They are worth the investment!

I still say, “Enough is enough.”

More details on all of the proposed cuts to education in the Senate Budget here.

I attended the “Mega Moral Monday” rally on June 3rd. Ending early voting, cutting social programs, and the need for tax reform join lack of education funding as just a few of the  issues that are at the heart of these “Moral Monday” protests. It was humbling and amazing to see so many people lined up to march into the legislative building to protest knowing they would be arrested. Clearly, I am not the only one who’s had enough.

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Top: A second bus was added shortly after I took this photo due to the large volume of arrests; Bottom left: Aidan George, age 4; Bottom right: Nathaniel, age 7

The House is currently deliberating the budget and, though I don’t see any magic solutions coming our way, I am grateful that thus far it appears they are not agreeing to the draconian budget as put forth by the Senate. Once the budget is passed, I will post more on the issues and impact it will have on education in North Carolina.

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