The last 7 years has shown a steady decline in veteran teachers and an annual increase in teacher vacancies. Many cite teacher pay and the need to increase the salaries. While this is true, nobody wants to work for any amount of money if they aren’t respected as the professionals they are. At the local level, our hands are tied as to salaries for teachers. We depend on the county and state to fund those. However, we are not powerless.
There are ways we can demonstrate that respect teachers so rightly deserve. One very real way of demonstrating that respect is to institute a local level of due process. I want to reinstate career status for teachers. Other counties have done it, it’s time New Hanover County join them. Our teachers put their hearts and time into their profession. They sacrifice their free time, often at the expense of their families, to create lesson plans that wow our students every day. When elected, my very first action for our teachers will be to introduce a policy in which our teachers with 5 or more years in New Hanover County Schools are granted Career Status. Teachers who enter our system as beginning teachers and out of state transfer teachers will have the opportunity to earn Career status after 5 years. Teachers with 5 or more years of teaching experience in North Carolina will have the opportunity to earn career status after 1 year.
If we are going to recruit and retain the best teachers, we have to show them we value their service. We need to reinstate career status in New Hanover County Schools.