A Union County legislator is making headlines for a Facebook diatribe against North Carolina teachers who have shut down school districts across the state next Wednesday to call attention to the underfunding of public education.
Rep. Mark Brody’s rambling, semi-coherent statement came after Union County closed schools for the May 16 rally. It reads, in part:
Union County teachers choose to inconvenience near 30,000 parents in order to pressure the General Assembly to increase their pay!
The hypocrisy is that they say they are supporting the students. One less day of instruction does not help students. Teaching our children that it is OK to not show up for work does not set a good example. And, if you can make the assumption that teachers have achieved a level of education where they can make well thought out decisions, why is it that they cannot figure out that in about 3 weeks the school year will be over and the legislature will still be in session? Strange but, unfortunately, they cannot make a simple connection – protest without inconveniencing anyone. (Inconveniencing people is a main tactic of the Labor Union movement)
Let’s call this what it is, Teacher Union thugs want to control the education process! I am speaking up because I don’t want Union County schools, and for that matter all NC school systems, to turn into Chicago. Let the Union thugs get their way now and we are halfway there.
I will end this by saying I strongly support those teachers who do the right thing, in the right way and at the right time. Your biggest legislative support comes from the Republican State legislature. Your greatest enemy for the causes you strive for is the Teacher Union, your incompetent and/or spineless local administrations and, the biggest problem of them all, the NC Department of Public Instruction.
Brody is right to be concerned about the more than 13,500 thugs who will be storming Raleigh on Wednesday. After all, these thugs bring a very special skill set that make us extraordinarily effective advocates:
We are black belts in sarcasm and penmanship. Just wait til you see our signs.
We can hold our pee all day long.
We reserve a special teacher voice that demands attention.
We are very good at waiting in line (no cutting).
We can go 8 hours without sitting down once. The secret is in the shoes.
Most importantly, these thugs are experts in fact-based arguments.
Brody claims that teachers’ “biggest legislative support” comes from the Republican legislature. Let’s review what that support looks like:
- Funding for Textbooks is down 45% from peak levels (09-10)
- Funding for Supplies & Materials is down 55% from peak levels (09-10)
- Funding for Technology is down 59% from peak levels (09-10)
- 5.3% fewer teachers per student compared to pre-Recession levels
- Per-pupil state funding down 7% from pre-recession levels (2008-09) when adjusted for inflation
- Per-pupil spending is 25% lower than the national average
- Teachers no longer enjoy a 10% raise for earning a Master’s degree
- Teachers who stay in NC long term no longer earn longevity pay
- New hires have no career status (protection from arbitrary firing)
- New hires after 1/2021 will not have retiree health benefits
The teachers that are descending on Raleigh next week are completely fed up with our state legislature prioritizing tax cuts over investments in quality public education for North Carolina’s children. Representative Brody, we’re coming to have a very serious heart-to-heart talk with you and your colleagues. And we’ve been saving our jeans pass for this day for a very long time.