NC schools superintendent warns of teacher losses

  • Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 9:49 a.m.

ASHEVILLE (AP) — North Carolina’s schools superintendent says the state is facing a teacher shortage because of low pay.

Schools Superintendent June Atkinson told The Asheville Citizen-Times that the state is 46th in the county in teacher pay.

“We are losing ground, and unfortunately there has been a national movement to disparage teachers, to say that our public schools are broken and our teachers are sorry,” Atkinson said. “That tears at the mindsets of our teachers who are working really hard every day.”

She was in Asheville on Monday for a leadership conference for principals and schools superintendents.

“We have to find ways to show that we value teachers every day because we do stand to lose many teachers,” Atkinson said. “The other long-term effect is we will not be attracting young people to go into the teaching profession.”

She had proposed last week exempting public school teachers from personal state income taxes, a move that would have cost the state about $260 million.

State lawmakers did not like the idea, but Atkinson compared providing incentives for teachers to the state efforts to provide tax breaks to corporations and small businesses.

“We need to have more conversations about our teacher salaries,” she said.

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