Thursday, December 5, 2013

Failing NC's children

Republican-led budget slashing is crippling North Carolina's public schools and setting the stage for an entire generation to fail.

WRAL reports
Almost 17,200 additional students packed into North Carolina schools this year while the number of teachers dropped, according to new payroll data, leading to what some say are larger class sizes that inhibit learning.
The article goes on to point out that the total number of public school teachers fell by 60. The losses would have been about 10 times that level if local school districts hadn't paid for replacement teachers out of their own funds. Overall, the number of state-funded teachers fell by 589.

Not only have teacher positions been cut, but the legislature has allowed the rising cost-of-living to erode teacher salaries. Just a few years ago, NC teacher salaries were near the average for the country. Now, average salaries are lower than almost every state.

The predictable result is that more teachers are racing for the exits. The WRAL article indicates that about one out of every seven NC teachers left their jobs last year, which was up from an already high one out of nine leaving two years ago. The losses include high proportions of experienced teachers. Many of the teachers are taking jobs in other states.

More students, fewer teachers, worse-paid and more dissatisfied teachers, less-experienced teachers, and cuts in other resources--they're all ingredients for educational failure.

Children get one shot at an effective education, and NC legislators are dooming this generation. Is it any wonder why Republicans are scrambling to dismantle student testing and standards? No sense documenting your own failure.