Havelock teachers join statewide protests over education cuts

Published: Monday, November 4, 2013 at 06:07 PM.

North Carolina ranks 28th in the country for starting teacher salaries at $30,779, about $5,000 less than the national average of $35,672, according to the NEA.

The teachers said they want what’s best for students, which is the best education system and pride in their schools with the best teachers teaching them. They want the best textbook materials and the most advanced technology.

Teachers said legislative action this spring and summer affects services to students. They said merit pay creates divisions in the staff, which, in turn, affects morale.

Daniel Edward Rapp, who has taught science and math for 13 years at Tucker Creek, said walking out on the students was not going to happen, even though the teachers needed to make a point.

“We do want to represent our concerns about the apparent lack of respect for the teaching position and the job we’re trying to do for these students,” he said. “Everybody makes statements about how we need to do more to improve education, but it’s kind of hard to do more and more with less and less.”

He said teachers are particularly concerned about the loss of tenure because, like anybody, job security is important.

“The way they’ve set things up it’s beginning to take away some of the incentives to work together because it’s making it competitive for the incentive pay,” Rapp said. “As a faculty, we want to work together. We think that’s one of our strengths. The best of my knowledge, everybody here wants to continue doing that, but if you’re going to get $5,000 more than somebody else in four years if you promote yourself rather than help your neighbor, it’s human nature and you might think to do that, so we want to continue what we’re doing.

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