Yesterday, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools sent out a Twitter post to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day. The post said: “Ms. Jeffries’ 4th graders (Seawall) wrote notes of appreciation for folks at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Mebane where Ms. Jeffries is also a full time 5:30 pm – 3:30am /Mon-Fri HR manager (You read that right!) How kind!”
The district deleted the tweet after people started to share it. We’re not mad at the district for posting this — it was nice for the kids to write letters— but we can’t stop thinking about this post and what it means. It’s been sitting with us since we saw it.
When does this teacher sleep? We are failing our teachers. Our teachers — the people who devote their lives to our children — deserve so much more than this.
A new teacher in North Carolina with no experience makes $37,000 per year (10 months), with a modest bump if they have an advanced degree or certification. The annual salary increases on a regular basis up to teachers with 25 years of experience, who are paid $54,000. $54,000! After 25 years of professional experience! That’s astounding. (Because of the high cost of living in Orange County, CHCCS pays its teachers a supplement, up to 27% of the base salary.)
That’s just teacher’s salary. Other staff in the school, such as our teacher assistants, make even less.
North Carolina ranks 33rd in the nation in teacher pay, and 43rd in pay for starting teachers. The low pay, along with the workload and expectations, are key reason the state has such difficulty finding and retaining teachers.
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