On Nov. 4, public school teachers across North Carolina are planning to walk out of classrooms to protest the pathetic working conditions they have been facing for several years. It is important for teachers to follow through with this plan and get as much support as possible so they can send a message that it is unacceptable for Gov. Pat McCrory to constantly put teachers on the back burner when finding ways to trim the budget.
Ryan Tronovitch, deputy communications director of the Governor’s office, has advised against the walkout because it doesn’t lead to a solution, and it puts the education of children in jeopardy.
If the General Assembly doesn’t want teachers to sacrifice education because of bad pay, then McCrory shouldn’t sacrifice education because of an unmalleable budget.
The state government’s inability to allocate a sufficient budget toward education is clear, directly resulting in teacher agitation. In the past five years, the state of North Carolina has awarded teachers just one pay raise of 1.2 percent, which isn’t even enough to account for inflation.
If public school teachers want to secure a better future for themselves, then walking out is the right start. Instead of continuously being subjugated by policies such as frozen pay rates, the end of teacher tenure and the elimination of extra pay for advanced degrees, the walkout will give legislators an accurate impression of the vital and irreplaceable role that teachers serve in the community.
North Carolina is notorious around the country for terrible teacher pay, and constantly trimming the already deficient education budget is not a solution. The benefit of emphasizing this message to legislators is more important than the cost of one day without teachers.