Another North Carolina teacher bites the dust.
Months after Anastasia Trueman made headlines when she said she was leaving the teaching profession in response to state budget cuts, another North Carolina resident said his wife, a teacher of seven years, has also had enough.
In a letter to the Raleigh, N.C., newspaper, The News & Observer, Matthew Brown wrote that his wife was leaving the profession amid low pay, hostile policies and an unbearable workload:
“After nearly seven years of her passion for teaching turning to dread, she is free to live her life unburdened by the oppressive hands of incompetent legislators and school board members who wish to micromanage education without actually getting involved with the people in it.”
His letter comes after North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed a budget in July that eliminated teacher tenure, froze teacher salaries for the fifth time in six years, and ended pay increases for teachers with master’s degrees. Even before the latest budget, North Carolina was ranked 46th in U.S. teacher pay.
“[Teachers] have been given no pay increases except for a single, 1 percent increase a couple of years ago. Given that the average rate of inflation over the past 10 years has been 2.3 percent, by not giving teachers pay increases that at least match inflation, the state is essentially saying, “We will expect more and more of you with each passing year, but your services are worth less and less to us with each passing year.”
Brown’s wife is not alone. More than 4,000 teachers with up to three years experience have left the state in the past five years, according to WIS TV in Columbia, S.C. The Star-News newspaper in Wilmington, N.C., reported last month it found anecdotal evidence that teachers were feeling frustrated and considering other options.
Some people said they worried hostile government policies will hurt students.
“The decisions [legislators have] made are having a terrible impact on the morale of educators,” Rodney Ellis, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators, told The Huffington Post in September. “We’re going to see a large exodus of quality educators in our state.”
Teachers plan a statewide teacher walkout on Nov. 4 to demand change.
"The system views us as disposable," teacher Josh Hartman told The Huffington Post last month. "They don’t care if I leave because there will be someone replacing me.”