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Cumberland principal's letter to McCrory goes viral

Posted August 20, 2013
Updated August 21, 2013

— The letter from Peggy Raymes, principal at Margaret Willis Elementary School in Cumberland County, to Gov. Pat McCrory ends with a question.

“Do we give 37 percent pay increases to young men who worked for your campaign, or do we pay the teachers in North Carolina a fair wage?” Department of Health and Human Services, DHHS generic Hefty raises at DHHS raise question of qualifications

Raymes penned the letter in reaction to recent headlines about hefty raises given to young staffers who worked on McCrory’s campaign and were subsequently hired by the administration. When she posted her open letter to McCrory on NC Policy Watch – a website maintained by the progressive, nonprofit North Carolina Justice Center – she didn't expect it to be picked up and reposted many times over.

“I thought the letter was outstanding. It made me feel wonderful to know my boss had my back,” teacher Erick McLaurin said.

Raymes said she was moved to write the letter after hearing about the high-dollar raises, including a 24-year-old policy planner who received a $22,500 raise and a 24-year-old public relations officer who got a $23,000 raise

Under the state’s budget signed into law by McCrory last month, North Carolina’s teachers received no raises.

“I just felt Gov. McCrory needed to know that in addition to these two young men, there were people every day who were doing outstanding things in their field and not being recognized in that manner,” Raymes said.

teacher Erick McLaurin Teacher: Nice to have principal's support

The 30-year educator points to the fact many teachers work off-hours for free, attending training sessions and working with families. She worries little or no raises are pushing too many out the door.

“People need to feel valued, but right now the message from our legislators and our governor is that public education is not valued,” Raymes said.

When asked about her letter, the governor’s office issued a statement: "I'm doing all that I can for our teachers. My proposed budget had a raise for teachers, but because of Medicaid overruns to the tune of approximately $500 million, we couldn't make it happen this year."

Raymes thinks if the governor and legislators would spend one day in a classroom, they might understand the frustration felt by educators.

“I’m extremely discouraged,” she said.
 

239 Comments

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  • 678devilish Aug 29, 2013

    When are the people of NC going to learn that McCrory is all about himself? He is a me me me person. Come voting time, vote him out. Don't allow him to have a second term.

  • usocrazi Aug 29, 2013

    The "tea party" that now runs North Carolina wants to do away with tax paid public education and will chip away at it's foundation at every opportunity.

  • HDStreetGlide Aug 29, 2013

    lessismore get real!!!

  • carolinarox Aug 29, 2013

    Somehow people believe that the employees of the state, those that are being paid by tax-payers, deserve more than those paying them.. Everyone is hurting, but mostly the tax-payers. If state employees can't make it on what tax-payers are giving them, drop out and get a job in the private sector. Seems all the complaining is coming from those who live off the tax-payer.
    lessismore

    You seem to overlook the fact that employees of the state also pay taxes. Also, not everyone is hurting -- I'm not, the 2 kids who worked on McCrory's campaign and now earn about $85K aren't hurting, the folks who can by a plane or yacht and only have to pay $1.5K in sales tax aren't hurting -- just people like you seem to begrudge teachers and state employees a fair wage. Teachers and other state employees haven't had a decent raise in years and as a taxpayer I say give them a raise.

  • lessismore Aug 29, 2013

    Somehow people believe that the employees of the state, those that are being paid by tax-payers, deserve more than those paying them.. Everyone is hurting, but mostly the tax-payers. If state employees can't make it on what tax-payers are giving them, drop out and get a job in the private sector. Seems all the complaining is coming from those who live off the tax-payer.

  • lessismore Aug 29, 2013

    thumperdcs....you gave Obama 54 1/2 years of failure and you said nothing. McCrory has been in office 6 months....give him 4 1/2 years, then complain.

  • lessismore Aug 29, 2013

    Choices have to be made, $500,000,000 to Medicaid, or $500,000,000 to teachers? Some people seem to believe that NC can do like Obama...print more money, regardless of what it does to our economy.

  • thumperdcs Aug 28, 2013

    So you all wanted change. Has PMcC really delivered change? I don't see it. He's SO guilty of cronyism it's pathetic! Sound familiar to those of you who bash the Dems and Libs? To me, it's truly a CRIME that these little "staffers" get huge raises while the rank and file of most other state government employees get squat (except for maybe pink slips). When will we wake up and realize we've been duped (once again) by the party of exclusivety? I can only hope he screws up badly enough that we have to recall his sorry *&^ before the next election.

  • pcfreeland Aug 28, 2013

    Tired of teachers getting all the attention about not getting a raise...there are hundreds of other state workers that deserve a raise as well. I work in the Early intervention field and each person on staff that handles a case load have on average 30 kids/families to work with; ages 0-3 with a developmental delay or diagnosis that causes a delay. Yes, we all deserve a raise, but there are many perks with our state jobs that factory workers and others in the service industry don't get; yet many of them work for minimum wage and get no perks and lose weekends at times. All this high tech mess that you all cry for IS your raise! Funny how kids came out of the school systems in the old days just as smart without all that mess. Get over yourselves. You know you didn't go into this profession for the money anyway....

  • UPTOP Aug 28, 2013

    McCrory is a true Political figure who say's all the right things just to shut us up !!

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