Justin Parmenter, an NBCT teacher in North Carolina, explains in this article why Democratic Governor Roy Cooper vetoed a pay raise for educators passed by the ultra-conservative state legislature. 

He begins:

Asheville City Schools full-time instructional assistant Angel Redmond is in her 4th year with the school system and her 21st year in education. Angel has a degree in psychology, and her duties include teaching math and reading to small groups, handling discipline issues, proctoring standardized tests, and substitute teaching when needed. Her current salary is just $22,000 per year, which means that she has to put in 15 hours a week at her second job in order to make ends meet.

Under a General Assembly plan for educator pay which was vetoed last week by Gov. Roy Cooper, Angel would have seen an increase of only $18.26 per month. That’s enough for roughly half a tank of gas.

Cooper’s veto of the poorly-named “Strengthening Educators’ Pay Act” came at the request of public school educators and advocates. On the surface it might seem like a peculiar move for a governor who has vowed to bring much-needed improvements to public education in our state, and Senate leader Phil Berger wasted no time framing Cooper as an enemy of teachers.

However, the legislation would have provided little more than table scraps from a General Assembly majority that has consistently underfunded public education and deprived our schools of billions in potential revenue via massive tax rate cuts since taking control of the House and Senate nearly a decade ago.

Under the bill, teachers with 0-15 years experience would not have received any raise this year. Teachers with 16-20 years would see only $50 more a month before taxes. Teachers from 21-24 years of experience would get $150 more a month, while our most dedicated veterans with 25 years or higher would have salaries raised $60 a month.  For school year 2020-21, teachers with 0-15 years would again get nothing, and teachers with 16 years or more would all get another $50 a month.

These measly raises were promised, not funded.

Governor Cooper was right to veto what amounted to an insult, not a pay raise.

Teachers deserve a living wage. Teachers deserve to be paid as valued professionals.