I participated in the major North Carolina Emerging Issues forum, where Governor Pat McCrory promised a pay increase to teachers in their first five years of teaching, but nothing for experienced teachers. Some veteran teachers will earn the same as teachers in thir fifth year. This went over like a dead balloon. Some observers speculated that it was a bonus for Teach for Merica, which won a $5-6 million contract fom the far-right McGrory administration at the same time that the nationally recognized North Carolina Teaching Fellows program was eliminated.

As salaries go up for new teachers, they stagnate for experienced teachers, who have not had a raise since 2008.

Before I spoke, I was preceded by a Teacher Town Hall, a panel of teachers who quit, mostly because they were disgusted by low pay, which seemed like disrespect. One teacher, who moved to Maryland, said she was earning $20,000 more.

NC has a major brain drain. Senior teachers are leaving because of low pay and lack of autonomy.

Apparently, that is what the Governor and legislature want. New teachers, low wages, high turnover. And that is called “reform.”