The Republicans in charge of North Carolina government are changing the way teachers are paid in the state. The Democrats and status quo defenders are not happy.
First, the GOP gave 1.2% pay raises for all teachers and state employees last year. The left called it insulting and were forgiven for freezing teacher pay six years ago.
Then, the GOP instituted a contracted compensation plan, offering 25% of all teachers a bonus with a 4-year contract. The left called this insulting because it meant 75% of the teachers were deemed "not good." They said teachers would begin to act unprofessionally and against the interests of children by competing with each other for the bonuses (which they also said were insultingly small).
Yesterday, GOP leaders announced a plan to boost entry-level teacher pay to $35,000 within two years. They say there is money already in the budget to pay for this. The left says this is insulting because teachers with more experience aren't part of this plan.
Are you sensing the pattern, here?
Assaulting the status quo
To leftists, there must be a pay raise for all - or a for none. We must pay the bad teachers the same as the good ones. Because, fairness!
Chris Fitzsimon complains at the leftwing think tank blog NC Policy Watch:
McCrory is not proposing to give all teachers a well-deserved salary increase. He only wants to raise the pay of starting teachers and those who have spent only a few years in the classroom. That means veteran teachers, as many as 60,000 of them, would get nothing under McCrory’s plan—nothing.
Two academics penned an op-ed for the News & Observer, making a completely unexaggerated and utterly rational argument that the Republicans want to "destroy" the public education system in the state. The thinly-veiled underlying assumption is that is because Republicans are racists.
If one were to devise a strategy for destroying public education in North Carolina, it might look like this: Repeat over and over again that schools are failing and that the system needs to be replaced. Then make this a self-fulfilling prophecy by starving schools of funds, undermining teachers and badmouthing their profession, balkanizing the system to make coherent planning impossible, putting public funds in the hands of unaccountable private interests and abandoning any pretense that the goal is to prepare every child in our state to succeed in life.
US Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) pushed this op-ed out via her Twitter account today.
In a panic
What all of the leftists in North Carolina are ignoring (probably intentionally) is that yesterday's announcement is just the first step in an overhaul of the educratic pay system.
The Governor has said this repeatedly.
Midcareer and veteran teachers are not included in the pay plan, though McCrory said the goal is to announce increases for more teachers and state employees as the “revenue picture becomes clear.”
We talked about it on the show last year.
And again yesterday.
Lt. Gov. Dan Forest told us the same thing yesterday on the show, too.
State Senator Jerry Tillman said as much on Twitter:
But all we are hearing right now from the left in NC is that this yet another insult to teachers.
The very people who froze teacher pay six years ago, then demanded the GOP raise teacher pay are now mad that teacher pay is being increased.
It's one thing to disagree with the compensation system being implemented. It's another to say there is no system. Defenders of the status quo are fighting these changes and are becoming more desperate.
The reaction is evidence that the left is having a hard time articulating a legitimate argument on this topic, so now must lie about what the GOP plans to do. Are the Republicans sending Democratic activists and officials advance copies of their education funding plans? I doubt it.
And, so, when the GOP unveils the next component of teacher pay raises, I'm sure the left will call it another insult.