Education

NCAE plans 'walk-in' to generate public education discussion

Posted October 24, 2013

— Aiming to create more dialogue about the plight of the state's teachers and the challenges of public education, the North Carolina Association of Educators on Thursday announced plans to host a "walk-in" on Nov. 4 at schools across the state.

Teachers continue to be frustrated with the lack of broad pay raises and the loss of both tenure and master's pay, said Rodney Ellis, president of the NCAE.

"It's about getting parents, educators, administrators, elected officials and everyone together in a school building having conversations about the challenges and successes are in our public schools," Ellis said. 

Ellis said the NCAE is encouraging teachers, parents and students to wear red on Nov. 4 and use the day as an opportunity to meet in school buildings across the state. Teachers at Thursday's news conference said the stress on teachers and students creates unhealthy learning environments. 

Some educators had previously mentioned the possibility of a walk-out on the same day, but the new plan is one Ellis said should generate more positive discussion. State law bans strikes or work stoppages by public employees.

"What we want is real positive change," Bambi Lockhart, a teacher at Holly Ridge Elementary School, said. "The kind of change that will lead to student growth and global education. That will bring the best and brightest back to our state and our schools. And that will help stop the war on North Carolina public schools."

Aside from the plans for Nov. 4, educators have also been signing petitions and planning legal action to fight a law passed in July that directs school districts to offer their top teachers a chance to sign four-year contracts in exchange for pay raises totaling $5,000 while gradually eliminating tenure. Hoke County classroom NCAE: Teachers frustrated by NC's education system

By 2018, all teachers will work under one-, two- or four-year contracts that replace so-called "career status" rights requiring school administrators to follow a defined process when firing a teacher.

Critics of tenure in the Republican-led General Assembly approved the change because they said rules make it difficult to get rid of ineffective teachers once they qualify for the protections after four years of teaching.

NCAE is planning to file a lawsuit in the coming months to challenge the elimination of teacher tenure, said Ann McColl, the organization's top lawyer.

The lawsuit is likely to argue that the state would be violating the contractual rights of teachers who have either enjoyed the job protections or were on their way to earning them, she said. Many teachers saw tenure as balancing low pay, she said.

In July, thousands of teachers and others rallied in downtown Raleigh to express their displeasure with the lack of pay raises in the state's budget.

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  • kdogwnc Oct 25, 2013

    teddyspaghetti: "Actually they ARE forcing me to pay for public school...even if I choose to go to private school or homeschool."

    I think you should go to private school.

  • kdogwnc Oct 25, 2013

    teddyspaghetti - no one is stopping you from taking your kids to any school that you can afford. You can do that any time.

    But every kid deserves a quality education - not just the kids whose parents can afford Cary Academy or Ravenscroft. And society needs every kid to get a quality education - that's why I pay for your kids' public education, just as the society paid for yours and my education. The kid who grows up to be a gunners' mate on a destroyer in the Persian Gulf , or the kid who grows up to work on my car, or the kid who grows up to operate the trackhoe on the construction site, or the kid who grows up to patrol I-40 on the graveyard shift in the Pigeon River gorge all to have a quality education. That's why on November 4 I'm going to show up at a local public school, wearing red, in support of teachers.

  • joycejunior Oct 25, 2013

    teddy-"I DO think we as taxpayers should have a say in "what roads to build or what military weapons should get funded"! Isn't that why I vote????"

    You do, you certainly have a say, but you don't have the right to say "I want this type of tank in my military" or "I don't want to pay for that type of jet" or "I want my own choice" of road. The common good of all outweighs the individual good in some matters. This being one of them. There is no successful country in the world without a public school system.

  • teddyspaghetti Oct 25, 2013

    No one is forcing anybody. You still have the options to move to a better district, go to private school, or homeschool.

    Actually they ARE forcing me to pay for public school...even if I choose to go to private school or homeschool.

    I DO think we as taxpayers should have a say in "what roads to build or what military weapons should get funded"! Isn't that why I vote????

    If I want a hamburger, why can't I have the choice as to where I want to buy my hamburger?

  • joycejunior Oct 25, 2013

    A person-"They should come see what I do during the day before they scream that they are not being treated fairly."

    Is this an apples to apples comparison?

  • joycejunior Oct 25, 2013

    teddy-"With support from teachers' unions such as the National Education Association ... would help protect school children from the possibility of being exposed to criminals"

    What does this opinion sentence have anything to do with NC schools or teachers?. Nevertheless, since you went down this road, NC legislators introduced a law this year that said public CHARTER school employees DON"T HAVE TO undergo background checks! It's now optional you see for charter schools.

    Nice, huh?
    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/03/31/3948579/nc-charter-school-bill-is-very.html#.UmrCjr7D-M8

  • A person Oct 25, 2013

    They should come see what I do during the day before they scream that they are not being treated fairly.

  • teddyspaghetti Oct 25, 2013

    With support from teachers' unions such as the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, liberals like Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) are opposing a bill that would help protect school children from the possibility of being exposed to criminals, including sex offenders, in America's schools.

    Nice union, huh?!?!?!?

  • joycejunior Oct 25, 2013

    teddy-"What I WANT is for my kids to get the best education possible....public or private! But when public schools are failing, why should I (or anyone else for that matter) be forced to use it??"

    No one is forcing anybody. You still have the options to move to a better district, go to private school, or homeschool.

    "Why shouldn't we be allowed to choose where our money goes?"

    Taxes/society doesn't work that way. Taking tax dollars meant for all, to pay for some is plain wrong. By your logic, I should be able to pick and choose what roads to build or what military weapons should get funded. If it was really about "choice", the entire tuition/fees and transportation would be fully funded for all who want it and there would be as much accountability for those who take public tax dollars as there is for traditional public schools.

  • joycejunior Oct 25, 2013

    johnny-"You have to fight against the teachers union and they have the democrats vote. The teachers union is still quite powerful"

    Wow, you're one of those people to whom evidence mean nothing. Despite NC clearly having no teacher's union you seem to think they do, as if that implies a good argument. Jut keep claiming that they do.

    TThMFs-"Try being a teacher in NC & not join the NCAE/ UNION."

    Most teachers in NC don't even belong so stop making things up. Besides, they have zero power to collectively bargain or strike.

    "You will not go far &/or last very long."

    Really? Any proof? Of course not, you just make things up.

    "People in the private sector do NOT get automatic annual pay increases."

    They do tend to get rises from time to time and most other similar professions make far more than teaching.

    "Now, go pay your extortion...NCAE dues."

    Only if you start posting accurate information.

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