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Letter to the NC General Assembly: I Can No Longer Afford to Teach

July 27, 2013

making our way

Dear members of the North Carolina General Assembly,

The language in this letter is blunt because the facts are not pretty. Teaching is my calling, a true vocation, a labor of love, but I can no longer afford to teach.

I moved to North Carolina to teach and to settle in to a place I love. My children were born here; we have no plans to leave. I reassured my family in Michigan, shocked at my paltry pay and health benefits, that North Carolina had an established 200 year history of placing a high value on public education and that things would turn around soon.

When I moved here and began teaching in 2007, $30,000 was a major drop from the $40,000 starting salaries being offered by districts all around me in metro Detroit, but it was fine for a young single woman sharing a house with roommates and paying…

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