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NC Senate’s teacher pay proposal is insulting | Opinion

Teacher pay

Regarding “NC Governor declares ‘state of emergency’ due to GOP school voucher expansion, tax cuts,” (May 24):

When I read that the N.C. Senate is giving veteran teachers a $250 raise to be spread over two years, I was appalled. It’s totally insulting. It’s obvious that teachers are not being appreciated or respected with this token “raise.” We need our public schools to be as desirable as possible because good public schools benefit everyone. Do the Republicans not get that? Driving good teachers away from public schools is a horrible thing to do — and it’s happening.

Ann Whitehurst, Raleigh

School vouchers

The state budget now before the legislature proposes to favor private education over public education. The GOP underfunds public education across the state and proposes to give wealthy families in North Carolina free subsidies to send their children to private schools. The wealthy do not need our tax dollars to send their children to private school. The middle income and less fortunate N.C. families need better public schools and increased state funding to pay public school teachers a fair wage and properly educate our children. Why does the GOP reward its wealthy donors with tax subsidies and relegate your children to poorly funded and understaffed public schools?

Richard Lane, Raleigh

Voucher recipient

I am a retired nurse and mother of five children, four of whom are Opportunity Scholarship recipients. I can only hope that every single family in North Carolina could have access to private schooling — which cannot be shut down by politicians during a pandemic. Taking children out of the classroom damaged them. This scholarship is the vehicle that gives parents choices for their kids’ education. Every family should have the opportunity to decide what is best for their own children.

Elizabeth Shenk, Erwin

NC abortion bill

Of all the bad measures the N.C. General Assembly has passed this year, Senate Bill 20 regulating abortion in our state may be the worst, and eventually may rival the ill-fated bathroom bill of several years ago as the most damaging for our state. No matter your position on abortion, most every one of us will be negatively affected in some way by this measure. Sensible North Carolinians must band together and not reelect all those who voted for this bill before other rights and freedoms we hold dear are also taken away.

Dr. Leon Woodruff Jr., Raleigh

NC pay raises

The recent disclosure of a 23% vacancy rate of state jobs, surprised me. The surprise was that the figure wasn’t closer to 33%.

On May 17 there was news about a proposed 22.5% pay raise for the governor and significant raises for Council of State members. I thought to myself, this is a perfect opportunity for the governor and Council of State to decline any pay raise that is higher percentage-wise than what state employees will receive.. By setting this example, Gov. Roy Cooper and the Council would demonstrate their recognition that that the state’s budget should not be balanced on the back of state employees.

The current governor has demonstrated his willingness to go to bat for state employees, unlike a former governor who once referred to some on the state’s payroll as “seat warmers.”

Greg Bruhn, Raleigh

School lunches

The writer is a former Wake County PTA Council president.

Regarding “Wake school lunch prices are going up again,” (May 18):

I echo Wake County school board chair Lindsay Mahaffey’s common sense hope that we could eliminate the cost of school meals for all of our students once and for all.

Such a move would take the pressure off of families who have to pinch every penny but make more than the threshold for their children to receive free or reduced price lunch. It would also remove the stigma of children incurring meal debt or receiving “alternative meals” that put financial status front and center with their peers.

I encourage our elected officials at all levels to prioritize our children’s health, nutrition and potential to learn by making school meals available to all students at no cost to their families. Hungry students struggle. Nourished students thrive.

Sarah B. Martin, Cary

Pat McCrory

Former Gov. Pat McCrory’s announcement that he will work for No Labels should make everyone sit up and notice!

Many allies of No Labels oppose a third-party presidential run. A co-founder, William Galston, recently opined in the Wall Street Journal that a No Labels ticket that receives “a tiny share” of the vote could put Trump back in office.

McCrory claims that he is not a “radical extremist Republican,” but his efforts on behalf of No Labels could result in a radically extreme Republican president.

Helen Wolfson, Durham

Debt ceiling

Sen. Thom Tillis should be using his influence with his colleagues in the U.S. House to convince them to raise the debt ceiling. Hold him to his word when he says he is in Washington to solve problems. Failure to raise the debt ceiling will harm every citizen of our state, but it will hit small businesses and the poor harder and faster.

Cheryl Mitchell-Olds, Durham