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Letter: Budget facts show why teachers are frustrated

While some have questioned why educators feel compelled to march in Raleigh today, facts about the state budget paint a clear picture about why teachers and those who support public schools are frustrated.

From 2008 until today, North Carolina public schools have experienced population increases of about 100,000 additional students. Despite this significant growth, North Carolina is now funding fewer teachers, teacher assistants, guidance counselors, media specialists and school psychologists than it did in 2008. The state is also providing less funding for classroom supplies and textbooks.

While this time period saw increased pay for beginning teachers, veteran teachers lost their longevity bonuses and salary increases for advanced degrees. Our most experienced teachers now have a salary schedule in which someone with 24 years of experience receives the same state pay as someone with 15 years of experience.

The state salary schedule, which once topped out at 35 years of experience, now tops out after 25 years, leaving veteran teachers with little hope for meaningful pay increases.

My wife and I are proud to stand with teachers today.

— Walter Hart

China Grove

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