Actually a sweet deal
Regarding “NC schools chief: $35K ‘good money’ for young teachers,” (Jan. 26) it seems misleading to compare a pension-receiving salary with private-sector salaries that do not receive pensions. If teachers would like to have their salaries brought up to private-sector levels, then it logically follows that we would phase out pensions and let them save for retirement through the 401k program the way the rest of us do. Young teachers – especially math teachers – might quickly realize that $35K with a pension is actually a sweet deal.
Higher wage needed
I wholeheartedly agree with raising N.C.’s minimum wage. Raising wages is beneficial to the economy, but even if it weren’t, isn’t there any moral compulsion to do so? This baffles me.
In a country so wedded to the value of hard work, our hypocritical failure to adequately reward such work is disheartening. Are there actually opponents who can bear people with multiple jobs living in squalor? I don’t get to close my eyes to that horror after decades of growing to care deeply for people in dire poverty.
I am haunted by the dignified older working woman I met, with no heat, wearing three coats, who needed me to remove a cockroach from her ear. By the man who nearly lost a finger at his job but requested I return him to work straightaway because he couldn’t afford to miss a paycheck. By watching working parents’ children fight over free crackers. Don’t these people, our own fellow hardworking Americans, move the hearts of the wealthy and powerful? For a day in the shoes of a working poor person would bring the rest of us to our knees.
Aparna H. Jonnal
Increase parental involvement
I was very disappointed when reading “Class size chaos, school funding are top issues” (Jan. 24) about the Public School Forum of North Carolina’s top 10 education issues in 2018. Not one of the issues dealt with the importance of Pre-K or improving the engagement of parental involvement - two vital keys to increasing student achievement.
It’s no longer a K-12 public education system; it’s a Pre-K-12 education system. And, as many of us know, the most important work is Pre-natal to three, which means young parents need to be prepared and supported to get their children ready for school. If we can resolve those two issues in a meaningful way, North Carolina will make great progress - and it has to be bipartisan, so the baby doesn’t get thrown out with the bath water when political parties change power.
C’mon folks, this is nothing new. But we won’t get it done if we’re not all on the same page, working together for our children. Let’s shorten the list and focus.
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