06/30/08 — Teacher budget: Governor is right to push for more funds for state educators

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Teacher budget: Governor is right to push for more funds for state educators

Gov. Mike Easley thinks lawmakers just might be getting it wrong when it comes to priorities in the state’s 2008-09 budget.

He says legislators are skimping on an area that they should be spending more money on — if they are serious about improving education in the state of North Carolina.

And that is teachers.

Easley says the state’s leaders are giving too much money to state employees and not enough to the state’s educators — and he is urging them to reconsider their allocations.

And he is right.

Many states over the last few years have found themselves in serious teacher shortages. To attract the best new graduates and to keep veteran teachers in the classrooms, districts have been forced to offer incentive packages and other perks.

North Carolina is already experiencing some of the teacher shortage woes — and is now battling states with much better compensation packages to not just get the best, but to attract new teachers at all.

And that cannot bode well for the future of the state’s schools, let alone make better schools likely.

The teacher situation is similar to the shortage hospitals are facing as they try to find and keep nurses. They must create competitive compensation packages as well as better working conditions to get the employees they need.

And that is what North Carolina must do if it wants to be a place that attracts and keeps teachers.

The governor is right to push for that first step.

Published in Editorials on June 30, 2008 10:50 AM