Tuesday, May 13, 2014

NC State Senator's Mean-Spirited & False Response to Concerned Teacher's Email

Would you like to see what happens when a teacher in North Carolina sends her legislators an email about her concerns about the teaching profession? This message from State Senator David Curtis of Denver, North Carolina is a good indicator that the level of respect he has for teachers. This email came from the Senator after Charlotte-Mecklenburg teacher Sarah Wiles sent her email to all the legislators. Senator Curtis's reply to her email went to all the state legislators in the state after he selected "Reply to All."  Check it out. Here's the original story and Wiles' original email. (See "Teacher Email to Legislators Draws Harsh Reply.")

From: Sen. David Curtis
Date: May 12, 2014 at 9:46:57
Dear Sarah,
I have given your e-mail titled “I am embarrassed to confess: I am a teacher” some thought, and these are my ideas.  A teacher has an incredible influence on students–for good or for bad. My teachers, coaches, and Boy Scout leaders had a great influence on my decision to go to college which was not a family tradition. My concern is that your students are picking up on your attitude toward the teaching profession. Since you naturally do not want to remain in a profession of which you are ashamed, here are my suggestions for what you should tell your potential new private sector employer:
1.    You expect to make a lot more than you made as a teacher because everyone knows how poorly compensated teachers are.
2.    You expect at least eight weeks paid vacation per year because that is what the taxpayers of North Carolina gave you back when you were a poorly compensated teacher
3.    You expect a defined contribution retirement plan that will guarantee you about $35,000 per year for life after working 30 years even if you live to be 104 years old. Your employer will need to put about $16,000 per year into your retirement plan each year combined with your $2,000 contribution for the next 30 years to achieve this benefit.  If he objects, explain to him that a judge has ruled that the taxpayers of North Carolina must provide this benefit to every public school teacher. Surely your new employer wants to give better benefits than the benefits you received as a poorly compensated teacher.
4.    Your potential employer may tell you that he has heard that most North Carolina workers make less than the national average because we are a low cost-of-living- state, private sector workers making 87% of the national average and teachers making 85% of the national average.  Tell him that may be true, but to keep that confidential because the teachers union has convinced parents that teachers are grossly undercompensated based on a flawed teachers union survey of teacher pay.
I support the teacher pay raise but am very concerned that the teachers union has successfully presented to the public a deceptive view of total teacher compensation that is simply not consistent with the facts.
Senator David Curtis

It is fairly clear that our state legislature still operates under the misconception that there are teacher unions in North Carolina. They also seem to forget that these organizations represent "real teachers" who have concerns. Sadly, I suspect Senator Curtis' feelings and ideas run deep in this North Carolina Legislature.
Update: According to this WBTV news posting ("CMS Teacher's Strong Words to Politicians") North Carolina State Senator David Curtis "has no regrets" for what he said. He states that he just wanted to tell his side of the story. A visit to his web site, which hasn't been updated in three years is a fairly good indicator about Mr. Curtis and all he stands for. (See Curtis Davis' Web Site Here.) He is apparently against anyone, especially if you happen to be employed by the government, which he sees as the enemy except perhaps when it helps business. Too bad Curtis is like so many other legislators in this state. Their districts are so gerrymandered that they can run for re-election unopposed.

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