For years, I have heard how bad our schools are. Like each of you, I have heard that our hard-earned taxes go to an educational system that is set up to fail. Yet certain facts nag at me, so I continue to ask … Why are we 44th in teacher pay? Why are we 50th in principal pay? Why are we last in-per pupil funding? And, why are we third in our teachers having to work two jobs?
Those glaring stats demand honesty. When do we ask, “Are our schools failing us, or are we failing our schools?” The answer is obvious, but I wanted to confirm it for myself. So I went to all the schools in my district. First, I found them to be very clean and very safe. I was impressed with the principals and their staffs. These principals were doing everything possible to advocate for their teachers and for technology needs so they could prepare our children for their futures. I found teachers who desperately needed raises but, only asked for assistance in purchasing books and computers for their (our) children.
It is time we ask ourselves these questions:
(1) How do we expect our schools to be in the top 10 when we are last in investing in them?
(2) If we have the money to fully invest in our schools why then do we not do so?
(3) What are other North Carolina counties that are excelling in education and paying their teachers? And how much money are they investing in their schools?
Does not a lot of a little add up to still be a lot? Why do we ask so little of ourselves and expect so much from our schools? We need to “wake-up and smell the coffee.” In North Carolina, the coffee is burning. Should we not reinvest and fill the educational coffee pot back up?