If there is any doubt that Koch inspired Republican policies would be a disaster for America, one need only look to North Carolina, where you can see the results of these policies in real time. Gutting the social safety net didn’t make jobs magically appear. It just meant that more people would be struggling to survive.
Liberals called it and we were just as right about the inevitable fall out of McCrory’s education “reforms.” The McCrory Administration brought in many education “reforms” that only the Tea Party could love. While courting charter schools with the public purse, McCrory slashed the public education budget with predictable results.
Classes are larger and teachers’ workloads have increased, But NC teachers haven’t had a significant pay raise in five years. McCrory also removed supplemental pay for advanced degrees, which amounts to penalizing teachers for improving their qualifications. Moreover, pay raises only apply to teachers in the first year. Then there are the indirect costs, such as increasing taxes on the middle and poverty wage classes to pay for the tax cuts McCrory gave the richest families in North Carolina.
Teachers are among North Carolina’s low income wage earners. As a result of McCrory’s “reforms,” they are finding it difficult if not impossible to survive even with several additional jobs. Moreover, contrary to Republican talking points, they are working 12 months a year – many more days and much longer hours than Republican members of the U.S. Congress.
WUNC, reports 600 teachers have left their jobs in Wake County – since July 2013. That’s an alarming increase of 41% from last year. Britt Morton explains why he and his wife decided that they will continue teaching after they leave North Carolina to live in Georgia.
My wife works three jobs, as a teacher, on the weekends selling soccer equipment in tournaments, summer she’s a manager of a pool, myself I’m a coach – football and wrestling, and we still can’t make our payments,
At 14% the state average of teachers leaving the profession is at a five year high and many of them blame Pat McCrory’s anti-education and anti-teacher policies.
The policies are proving as much a disincentive to future teachers, as those who are living the new reality of teaching in North Carolina. According to Michael Maher, North Carolina State’s Assistant Dean for Professional Education:
In the NC State College of Education, we are going to see between an 18 and 20 percent reduction in students entering teacher education next year, and this is on the heels of a year where we saw a reduction the prior year… So we are seeing fewer students choose to become teachers.
In other words, the result of education “reform” in North Carolina is robbing the state’s children of the future unless they fit the cookie cutter mold of predominately religious Charter Schools. These are schools in which there aren’t any academic standards, and there are no academic requirements for teachers.
Clearly, in the name of ridding North Carolina of a public education system, McCrory designed policies to drive people away from teaching in the public education system. The sad reality is it’s working because without a supply of qualified teachers, the public education system will die.
These policies are what conservatives hope to “achieve” nationwide – establishing a country of indoctrinated zombies who do what they’re told and question nothing.
Image: Political Irony