RALEIGH, N.C. – After 13 years of teaching, Anastasia Trueman has had enough.
The former Lynn Road Elementary math coach resigned on July 27. Even working two jobs, Trueman said several years without a raise forced her to walk. Adding insult to injury, the two-year budget signed by Gov. Pat McCrory also does not include a raise.
State employees received a 1.2 percent raise in 2012 following a four-year pay freeze.
“I have to take a stand somehow, and one of the ways I can do that is by quitting,” Trueman said. “I hate that I have to do that because it's hurting the kids more than anybody, but if I really cannot sustain a living then that's what I have to do.”
The National Education Association says North Carolina ranks 46th in the nation in teacher pay. McCrory included a one percent raise in his budget proposal, but lawmakers took it out and the version McCrory signed also had no raise.
“It is a long time coming, and I think it's important to note this issue with teacher compensation didn't happen overnight,” Eric Guckian, McCrory's senior education advisor, said. “It certainly didn't happen in the last six months, and it's a priority of our administration to change it to a compensation system that is performance-based and values our educators and values our students.”
Trueman, however, said she doesn't feel valued.
“They talk about we're doing all this reform and the one percent raise — well, since I've been frozen on a salary since 2009, what's one percent going to do for me?” she asked.
“They gave us one percent last year and then hiked up our healthcare.”
Monday's demonstration on Halifax Mall protested changes to education in North Carolina.