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Teacher salary supplements in Chatham County are sixth highest in North Carolina

By Tom Glendinning
Posted Monday, July 2, 2012

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Pittsboro, NC - At the risk of poking the sacred cow of teacher’s salaries, I wish to point out a few statistics on Chatham’s place in the state salary structure.

First, these salaries are paid by the state. The teacher’s supplement comes form the county/city funds. Teachers can earn from $ 30,000 to roughly $ 64,000 depending on years of experience and college degree. Years of experience range form 0 to 34.

Second, the supplement coming from the local area government ranges widely in the state from $ 262 to $ 6000. The top local government supplements (rounded) are:

  • Wake $6000
  • Chapel Hill $5900
  • Durham $5700
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg $5600
  • Guilford $4900
  • Clinton $4000
  • Dare $4000
  • Chatham $4000
We support out teachers with the sixth highest supplement in the state, out of 100 counties. We are a small county with, apparently, delusions of hyper-adequacy comparing ourselves to the urban counties with populations and budgets five to ten times our own (Dare being an exception.)

Now, the sacred cow. Our school system is performing at or above average in student placement on testing. We should be proud of our school system within the framework of all systems. If $100 of school supplies has to come out of the teacher’s pockets to purchase aids for projects or special media, that is the teacher’s option. The textbooks and basic supplies should be available through central purchasing. This choice should not be portrayed as a shortfall of the county system and budget.

If a parent wants an exceptional education for their child, private schools are available. School Choice offers to pay the private school with state funds with the amount of the state allotment.

I attended public schools up to the 8th grade and had an excellent education. That was years ago. However, with all the improvements in education, increases in school budgets, advancements in teacher education, I do not see a degradation in public schools or their offerings. My teachers were making $ 2000 to $ 3000 per year and they still were able to instill the desire to learn in us without supplements.

If this is a battle zone, compare it to the real battles of our parents. When the Marines landed on Iwo Jima and the Army landed on Normandy, they did not stop the invasion to petition Congress for more money so that they could have more tanks or cannons. They buckled down and did their job with what they had. Just as we owe our freedom and our country to them for what they did, the children will owe their desire to learn to their teachers, doing what they were hired to do and working with what they have. It’s a matter of heart, not dollars. If you ain’t got the heart, you shouldn’t get the dollars.

Now, I will take the brunt of challenging the sacred cow. Please be aware that Sile City has a 20 to 24 percent poverty rate. Single female parent households with children under 18 have a poverty rate of 40 percent in Chatham and 47 percent in Siler City. 100 percent in Goldston. These figures come from before the 2011 closing of Townsend and other businesses.

Let’s pay attention to what really matters in this county.

 
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