Press Release

During Teacher Appreciation Week, Josh Stein Highlights His Plan To Support Teachers, While Mark Robinson and Republicans Target Teachers & Push To Defund Public Schools

While Attorney General Josh Stein is traveling the state for Teacher Appreciation Week, highlighting his plan to end the teacher shortage by raising teacher pay, hiring more support staff, reinstating masters pay, and supporting student teachers, Mark Robinson and Republicans in the General Assembly are finding new ways to target teachers and doubling down on their efforts to defund public schools.

A month after reporting that one in nine NC teachers had quit teaching within the last year, the News & Observer now reports that new legislation from Republicans in the General Assembly that would require teachers to post all lesson plans online within ten days of instruction is “already drawing a backlash from teachers.” The legislation perpetuates the myth promoted by Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson that teachers seek to indoctrinate their students and need to be surveilled. While “student curriculum is already public,” points out NCAE president Tamika Walker Kelly, these burdensome requirements “will take precious time away from student instruction.”

This news comes on the heels of Robinson calling for the state’s education budget to be “slashed” and “cut,”  as well as the General Assembly’s latest announcement that would further defund public schools by making voucher funds available for North Carolina’s wealthy families. As Governor Cooper remarked at a press conference yesterday, the $463 million intended for vouchers for wealthy families would be enough to “cover 8.5% average raises and $1,500 bonuses for most public school teachers,” to “cover the full cost of North Carolina pre-K programs for tens of thousands of kids,” or to “keep child care centers’ doors open.” Instead, the General Assembly seeks to take these dollars away from North Carolina’s underfunded public schools – particularly its rural schools

Meanwhile, in a new op-ed this week, Stein celebrated North Carolina’s teachers and offered solutions that truly value educators and public school workers. As North Carolina faces thousands of teacher vacancies, Stein continues to advocate for real investment in teachers, rather than burdensome requirements that make it harder for teachers to do their jobs and disincentivize young people from pursuing the profession.

“Mark Robinson and the Republicans in the General Assembly are celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week by disrespecting teachers, defunding their schools, and still demanding more of them,” said Morgan Hopkins, a spokesperson for Josh Stein for North Carolina. “If we continue down the destructive path we’re currently on, we’ll inevitably see more teachers leave the classroom. This week, North Carolina must recommit itself to supporting our educators – for the sake of our students, our communities, and our future.”