Skip to main content

If you want to get an idea of what teachers in North Carolina have had to put up with since the Republicans took full control of state government, WUNC, the NPR member station for the Triangle, has a lulu of an example.  Last week, Sarah Wiles, a science teacher from Charlotte, fired off an email to the entire North Carolina General Assembly which called for the legislature to back up its talk about how appreciated teachers are by increasing their pay.  North Carolina, for those who don't know, is fourth from the bottom in the nation in average pay for its teachers.  The state's teachers haven't had a raise in six years.

Yesterday, she got a reply from David Curtis, a state senator who represents some of Charlotte's northern suburbs near Lake Norman.  In so many words, Curtis called Wiles an ingrate.

Since you naturally do not want to remain in a profession of which you are ashamed, here are my suggestions for what you should tell your potential new private sector employer:

1.    You expect to make a lot more than you made as a teacher because everyone knows how poorly compensated teachers are.

2.    You expect at least eight weeks paid vacation per year because that is what the taxpayers of North Carolina gave you back when you were a poorly compensated teacher

3.    You expect a defined contribution retirement plan that will guarantee you about $35,000 per year for life after working 30 years even if you live to be 104 years old. Your employer will need to put about $16,000 per year into your retirement plan each year combined with your $2,000 contribution for the next 30 years to achieve this benefit.  If he objects, explain to him that a judge has ruled that the taxpayers of North Carolina must provide this benefit to every public school teacher. Surely your new employer wants to give better benefits than the benefits you received as a poorly compensated teacher.

4.    Your potential employer may tell you that he has heard that most North Carolina workers make less than the national average because we are a low cost-of-living- state, private sector workers making 87% of the national average and teachers making 85% of the national average.  Tell him that may be true, but to keep that confidential because the teachers union has convinced parents that teachers are grossly undercompensated based on a flawed teachers union survey of teacher pay.

Curtis is not only a pompous jerk, but he's also wrong.  For one thing, there is no "teachers union" in North Carolina.  The state constitution bars state employees from bargaining collectively.  Curtis was referring to the North Carolina Association of Educators, which is just a professional association--and one that only represents one-third of the state's teachers.  Yet, it's pretty much an article of faith among North Carolina teabaggers that the NCAE is a union.  Moreover, like most states, those eight weeks of vacation are unpaid--so teachers have to make 10 months of pay stretch out over an entire year.

Just for ha-ha's, I did some digging--and Curtis is completely unopposed for reelection.  His district is so red that it would be an extremely heavy lift for a Democrat in any event.  That doesn't mean he can't be called out for his inaccurate and condescending email.  Tell him what you think on his Facebook page.

Originally posted to Christian Dem in NC on Tue May 13, 2014 at 03:05 PM PDT.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (174+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CwV, kevinpdx, tofumagoo, poopdogcomedy, YsosadisticGOP, Susan from 29, Hammerhand, George3, gchaucer2, htowngenie, Mannie, FloridaSNMOM, stagemom, BeninSC, Polly Syllabic, Dave in Northridge, hooper, GwenM, middleagedhousewife, trumpeter, science nerd, Miss Jones, LaFeminista, slowbutsure, Lordcaradoc, Buckeye Nut Schell, temptxan, jayden, exNYinTX, jimstaro, myboo, Ckntfld, sillycarrot, monkeybrainpolitics, SteelerGrrl, Dirtandiron, joynow, Hayate Yagami, Tool, blugrlnrdst, xaxnar, Catte Nappe, wader, rapala, Teiresias70, Throw The Bums Out, milkbone, Windowpane, ban48, Turbonerd, BusyinCA, hbk, markdd, gfv6800, peacestpete, thomask, Josiah Bartlett, Geenius at Wrok, runfastandwin, SaraBeth, Joieau, Yosef 52, PsychoSavannah, avsp, eashep, Lashe, sow hat, Philpm, kerflooey, anodnhajo, onionjim, elpacifico66, corncam, BMScott, hnichols, psnyder, NCJan, ontheleftcoast, allie4fairness, Black Max, hopi13, stringer bell, zerelda, wintergreen8694, Vatexia, basquebob, pierre9045, Paragryne, ER Doc, nomandates, TomP, ladybug53, awcomeon, CA Nana, Gowrie Gal, batchick, Linda1961, Empower Ink, pat bunny, SaintC, IamGumby, Texknight, science geek, eru, postmodernista, We Won, Mystic Michael, AJ in Camden, OhioNatureMom, Joe Hill PDX, sawgrass727, AJayne, 417els, lexalou, commonmass, yoduuuh do or do not, Texan001, Jeff Y, kurt, pvasileff, WakeUpNeo, radarlady, blue jersey mom, Habitat Vic, nswalls, Robynhood too, emal, MadGeorgiaDem, RonV, bookgirl, democracy inaction, JBL55, spacecadet1, Shippo1776, quiet in NC, MKinTN, forgore, cv lurking gf, a2nite, manneckdesign, Olkate, Babsnc, lineatus, dewtx, Tinfoil Hat, smokeymonkey, Siri, ginimck, nerafinator, penelope pnortney, diggerspop, Whamadoodle, groupw, wiggin01, sajiocity, raspberryberet, lartwielder, Laughing Vergil, Andrew S, Phil N DeBlanc, Iron Spider, mungley, thanatokephaloides, allison88, ChocolateChris, Terry S, ptressel, theskepticarena, silverfoxcruiser, caul, splashy, cececville, AR2, dewolf99

    "Leave us alone!" -Mike Capuano

    by Christian Dem in NC on Tue May 13, 2014 at 03:05:50 PM PDT

    •  Well, it is a deep red district. Nuff said? (9+ / 0-)

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Tue May 13, 2014 at 04:25:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In other words (14+ / 0-)

        A district with idiotic voters.

        A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

        by onionjim on Tue May 13, 2014 at 06:05:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  venal and stupid (10+ / 0-)

          even when it comes to their own self interest.

        •  "A district with idiotic voters" (5+ / 0-)

          Who will do anything and everything they can to avoid having their idiocy disrupted or their willful ignorance being enlightened.

          Sometimes when I think about it, I feel like Marvin . . .

          "The water won't clear up 'til we get the hogs out of the creek." -- Jim Hightower

          by lartwielder on Wed May 14, 2014 at 01:35:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  which is why the plan appears to be... (10+ / 0-)

          low pay for teachers and inadequate school supplies = tendency for the better teachers to go elsewhere to teach and / or it just makes the job tougher because supplies are so limited.
          This results in more under-educated and ignorant people who will continue to vote for the Republicans because they lack critical thinking skills! See, it all makes perfect sense! 'Keep 'em barefoot, pregnant, uneducated, poor and they'll just keep on voting for you!"
          If anyone's pay should be frozen it's each and every member of Congress! But as long as they get to vote themselves a raise... who else gets to do that sort of thing? Aarghh!
          Curtis ought to be down on his knees asking forgiveness from every teacher who tried to give him an education!

          •  A Darwinian self feeding loop. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thanatokephaloides, caul

            First time I heard that one, LOL

            A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

            by onionjim on Wed May 14, 2014 at 02:29:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Supplies. We buy a lot of the basics for all of (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            caul, AR2, lrganassi, peregrine kate

            my wife's students.

            She is an elementary school teacher.  Every year, we buy, bulk (but NOT FROM THE BARONS OF BENTONVILLE!!),  pencils, folders, notebooks, tissue, erasers. and so on.  And it's not even a tax write-off any more.  We are out of pocket every year, getting her children equipped and supplied.

            The parents help of course, when they're financially able.  We have a LOT of low-income "walmart employee" sort of income level families in the area.

            The school used to provide supplies and a stipend to the teachers to help out, but that was cut down to about $125, total, for the year.  The kids almost use that up in just pencils....

            So we beg for donations every year from local businesses.  And buy what the children need out of our own pockets, they never go without things they really need.  (Every year at least one child shows up without decent shoes, or a jacket, something, and the teachers all pass the hat.  That kid doesn't go home that afternoon without shoes, a warm coat, whatever it was they were lacking.  Generosity isn't in short supply in our little out-of-the-way rural back-water.)

            I help her every way I can.  I have time on my hands, being retired (medically - nearly old enough to go gracefully but arthritis hastened my exit a bit).

            Besides helping her grade papers and create lesson plans, and all the five or six extra hours per day of prep and clean-up work, I occasionally take my engineering and science 'mad skills' on the road to her school, and teach an hour or two.  There are two third-grade classes, my wife's and her teaching partner's next door, and the two groups combined come to just about fifty children.

            Every year, for about the last twenty years now, near the end of the school year I do "Newton's Laws of Motion" with some props.  Balloons on wires shooting along, baking soda and vinegar in 35mm film cans, that sort of thing.  And small, low-powered model rockets, the little solid-fuel sort you find in hobby stores, made from paper tubes, plastic nose cones, balsa fins, and those cartridge engines that get these tiny models up to 300, maybe 400 meters.

            With proper supervision and some applied SENSE, they're perfectly safe, and they make very good examples of how all rockets work.  

            The fact that they go Whoosh!, leave smoke trails behind as well as a brimstone stink, and pop a parachute out to float down helps make them fun for the kids, too.

            Using them makes the science of propulsion approachable and "friendly."  I enjoy spending the time with the children, and I think it helps to stir up some educational enthusiasm.  (When I see them ten and more years later, after they graduate from high school and even from college, they still remember me as the "guy who did the rockets.")

            Though it is quite simplified, we always start out on the chalk board, in the classroom part of the unit, and then using balloons on a wire 'trolley' for examples, work through the Laws of Motion and definitions and such.  Truly BASIC physics.  It's fun.  They like it, we learn and do stuff and make some noise and a small mess here and there.  Just once-over-lightly, since they are just nine years old.

            And then I take the whole herd out, all fifty of them, and launch a couple of these el-cheapo paper-tube rockets.  Costs me about ten bucks for the engines, since I won't use any of my more-powerful but less-expensive, home-brew "sugar" solid- or hybrid- fuel engines, or the larger size rockets,  Just the "certified" commercial, over-priced things, to keep everyone from worrying about that "mad scientist" guy.

            Nothing un-safe or home-brew, never when there are school kids around, for liability and safety's sake.

            (When it's just me, and the drawing board, I have larger plans.  If ever I get the use of my hands back long enough, and I can ever afford the "low explosive" license from the BATFE or whatever it is called this week, I want to try to build a prototype liquid-fuel engine, which if the theory is correct might actually take a five-kilo sounding rocket very close to low-earth orbit.  But I'll do that, if ever, through a high-power rocketry club and with the proper licenses and approvals, so I will not be likely to be jailed for trying it!)

            ANYWAY, on another forum, I mentioned that I do this, and that I had always wished that I could afford to purchase enough of the "educational packs" of these small kit rockets and engines to allow each of the kids to build and launch one themselves.  But at nearly eight dollars each for the model and the engine combined, we just cannot afford to do something like that.  Not on our income.

            With my Illinois State University Retirement medical pension (which is again under attack by the RWNJ detachment here), and my wife's munificent pay after over thirty years as a well-respected teacher, we make ends meet but they always part again on bad terms.  Buying $350-worth of rocketry supplies is NOT going to happen.

            One of the other forum members just purchased fifty models, and fifty rocket engines, and had them shipped to the school.

            He said he felt sorry that American childrens' educations were being held hostage by the idiots holding the checque-books.  Such things as our shortage of any sort of support for this kind of project were unheard-of in any civilized place.  This was the least he could do, and he wished he could do more to help, in more places.

            He lives in Germany, and he feels sorry for our kids because they are getting so short-changed by the politicians.

            (Each of the kids is writing a thank-you letter, and we are making certain that every step of the process is photographed, including each of the rockets (and the launches), to send to our German benefactor.  He is a single guy, works in the I.T. sector, and is NOT all that highly paid.  This was actually quite a bit of a sacrifice for him, he had to forgo most of his normal 'luxury' activities for about two months, to be able to afford to do  this.  It was not without some pain for him.  The necessities he swears that he has in full measure; he only had to put aside his "luxuries" for a couple of months.  Had it left him short for necessities, I would not have been able to in good conscience allow him to do this.  And yes, I tried to talk him out of doing it, since there was more than a minor bit of inconvenience involved.  But he was quite insistent.  We are the grateful recipients of his generosity.)

            So now we need charity from German friends, to be able to teach basic science to our children in an interesting manner.  We are humbly grateful to have that charity.

            But how SAD is that, that, that it is necessary?

            What an indictment of the educational "system" in this benighted place.  My German friends, and those in Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, and the UK (and even the guy in BULGARIA!), with which I correspond regularly, have ceased to consider this country, as a whole, to be truly civilized.  Not all over, and not consistently.  Now, they do believe there are some civilized people living here; but the country, and the population as a whole?  Nope.

  •  I'd let this go viral and try to shame this jerk (22+ / 0-)

    but he'd probably get more "Attaboys!" than brickbats from the morans in the state that voted for him.

  •  I hate this losing attitude. (45+ / 0-)
    His district is so red that a Democrat wouldn't stand much of a chance of winning in any event.
    Someone should always file to run.  You never know what can happen.
    My former congressman filed fraudulent petitions, and was off the ballot in a heartbeat. Clay Aiken's primary opponent just passed away from a freak accident.

    We should always be represented, in every district.

    Imagine all the people, living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. John Lennon

    by GwenM on Tue May 13, 2014 at 03:28:47 PM PDT

  •  The new "interest groups" (24+ / 0-)

    I'm reminded of when Governor Schwarzenegger referred to nurses and firefighters as "interest groups" because thy disagreed with some of his budget-cutting stuff. Here, we have another Republican doing the same thing to teachers.

    What a yutz.

    Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

    by Dave in Northridge on Tue May 13, 2014 at 03:29:56 PM PDT

    •  From Wikipedia: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Empower Ink, catwho
      Yutz is a commune in the Moselle department in Lorraine in north-eastern France, close to the borders with both Luxembourg and Germany. It was created in 1971 by merging the old communes of Basse-Yutz and Haute-Yutz.
      Not only is he a yutz, he's a base yutz.


      Marx was an optimist.

      by psnyder on Tue May 13, 2014 at 06:13:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sent to the Badass Teacher Association. (13+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue May 13, 2014 at 03:52:06 PM PDT

  •  Out of curiosity (17+ / 0-)

    how does a NC teacher salary and the amount of days worked contrast and compare to that of a state legislator?

    •  and how do retirement and health benefits (11+ / 0-)

      Those were my thoughts too.
      I've been thinking about that with low wage workers too... who work so much harder and longer than congress
      but that's a longer story

    •  In the comments section of the local (7+ / 0-)

      NPR station that broke this story someone reported that state senators make about $20,000 per year.  

      But, I'd venture to say they work a lot less hours than the average teacher.

      We are all in this together.

      by htowngenie on Tue May 13, 2014 at 04:32:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Insulting NC workers is only a part-time job (8+ / 0-)

        for most NC state legislators. A more helpful statistic would be their average actual annual income from all sources, because most have another (often a full-time) profession.

        Which leads me to wonder: how many NC legislators are or were elementary or secondary public school teachers?

      •  Yes. NC Leg is officially a part time gig (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        17-20k per year, so what you get are people in there that have other businesses/work that they can continue while they bandy around Jones St. The long session is 6 months, so no one holding a salaried/hourly job can effectively become a legislator.

        They are coming up on their short session, which is about 6 weeks long on average, unless they have lots to talk about. They usually just check the budget items and finish off anything from the previous year's long session.

        I'm sure it's set that way just so they can get back out and stump.

        There is no "path" to choose. The path is what is behind you that led you to today. What lies in front of you is not a fork in the road - a choice of paths to take, but rather an empty field for you to blaze your own direction.

        by cbabob on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:05:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A part time job... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobcat41702, silverfoxcruiser

          but with full-time benefits.  They get the same health plan options as other -- full-time -- state employees. Other benefits, I'm not sure about, but that was a big deal when SEANC (which IS a union) submitted their budget suggestions to make up a shortfall without shedding jobs.  It was, of course, ignored.

          I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

          by mojo11 on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:48:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, true, with full time benefits. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Still doesn't really help a primary breadwinner to replace their income if they wanted to serve in the Legislature.

            As for SEANC, at least when I was an SPA state employee (8 yrs), they were a "union" without any teeth.

            I got a total of 9% raise over 8 years, plus those extra 2 weeks of vaca that they instantly regretted giving out in lieu of a raise, which, by the way, I had to use partly to make up for missed work due to that freak 20" snowstorm in '02(?)

            There is no "path" to choose. The path is what is behind you that led you to today. What lies in front of you is not a fork in the road - a choice of paths to take, but rather an empty field for you to blaze your own direction.

            by cbabob on Wed May 14, 2014 at 12:42:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It was 22"... In January of 2000 (0+ / 0-)

              And it's not really SEANC's fault they have no "teeth", the NCGS prohibits collective bargaining by state employees.  They do however, have a pretty good lobby, even with this legislature.  Problem is, (a) the NCGA is free to ignore them -- which they did with the budget proposal and a number of other things, and (b) what do they have to negotiate away?  The NCGA has a passionate hatred of the NCAE because they won't play by the rules (as the NCGA has defined them), so they have no truck with the legislature.  Not that they would anyway.

              The "bonus leave in lieu of a raise" trick has been used multiple times since Easley did it back in the day.  Purdue did it at least twice, and McCrony has done it at least once.  Last year there was about a 2% increase for non-exempt SPA's (unless you were a member of McCrony's campaign staff and wanted a plum job at DHHS, that is).  That's been pretty much it since about 2008.  This year's budget allows for a flat $1K, which might be just enough to push some folks into a higher tax bracket where they actually net LESS.  But it beats a poke in the eye.  I guess.

              I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

              by mojo11 on Thu May 15, 2014 at 11:00:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden, Philpm, allie4fairness

      Damn government moocher should get a real job.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Tue May 13, 2014 at 04:37:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Depends on their position, apparently (8+ / 0-)

      There is pay + monthly expense allowance

      Looking at their calendar they seem to be in session for 6 - 8 months every two years.

      If it's at all like my state (Texas), that monthly expense allowance is only applicable during months they are in session.

      It's no way to make a living, obviously. Assumption would appear to be these are "citizen legislators" who have real jobs in the real world the rest of the time. And of course it's not so easy to put a value on having such service on the resume, mixing and mingling with others at that level, being linked in with business and professional leaders in the state, etc. etc.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Tue May 13, 2014 at 04:58:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And Because Of, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philpm, ER Doc, WakeUpNeo, raspberryberet

    Budget Cuts Mean NC Is Failing Students, Say Districts In Leandro Case

    Teacher flight rising in CMS; pay seen as possible factor

    I would normally say something like 'jackasses like him' but they've gone so deep into the parroted FOX and so called conservative speak names for them fail as they're way below any and what we do have in our language they take as compliments!!!!!!

    "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    by jimstaro on Tue May 13, 2014 at 04:16:30 PM PDT

  •  Unfortunately, team blue has to convince the (15+ / 0-)

    abused to vote out their abusers.  The following is from The Daily Beast.

    The only chance Hagan has to keep her seat rests on convincing voters like Leonardo Williams to go to the polls in November and vote for her. A 33-year-old high school music teacher, Williams was so outraged by the assembly’s cuts to public education funding that he attended the Moral Monday protests in Raleigh last summer.

    But after eight years in the classroom, Williams said he may have to leave teaching because he worries he cannot afford to raise a family on a long-frozen North Carolina teacher’s salary.

    “It has brought me to tears several times to think about it,” he said. “I just love it there, but I may have to find some way to say, “Mr. Williams won’t be back next year.’”

    Williams said the Republican candidates’ positions on education funding “literally gave me goose bumps,” but he’s not enthusiastic about voting for the Democrats, either: “It’s almost like you’re having to choose the lesser of two evils.”

    Williams said he’ll “probably” vote for Hagan in November, but he’s not sure.

    “Kay Hagan is going to have to get some muscle and look at what the masses of North Carolina are asking for,” he said. “I think politicians get caught between what the masses are looking for and what the money is looking for. That’s when people become politicians, and that’s when the trouble starts.”

    If Mr. Williams isn't ready to run to the polls to punish Thom Tillis for NC's education ship wreck, then Kay Hagan and every other Democratic candidate in NC will lose.  What the hell does it take?
  •  He's a liar too. How many 104 yr old retirees (6+ / 0-)

    are there?  He might as well say "We gave you the lottery, what more do you want?"

    People who think politics is stupid are doomed to be ruled by stupid people.

    by ban48 on Tue May 13, 2014 at 04:42:30 PM PDT

    •  So at what age would he cut off retirees benefits? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      417els, spacecadet1

      This sounds like death panel talk to me.

      •  Defined Benefit pensions that pay out like he is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        catwho, raspberryberet

        describing are a statistics game.  They only need save for the average retiree lifespan.  If the average retiree lives 10 years into retirement, that is the only number that matters, not the 1-in-100 that lives to 104.  That is how wall street stole pensions - they convinced people that they couldn't be afforded by trotting out the exceptions, not the norms.  They then threw their companies into bankruptcy which allowed them to pillage the pension funds because.

        But anyway, he is a confused or double lair because he says the teachers get defined contribution pensions - which are simply glorified 401ks: you get out what you pay in.  But then he costs it out as a defined benefit pension based on a 1-in-100 exception, not the norm.

        And people vote for this...????

        People who think politics is stupid are doomed to be ruled by stupid people.

        by ban48 on Wed May 14, 2014 at 03:59:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  an actuary once told me that the average GM (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The grouch, spacecadet1, catwho, ban48

          retiree collected for 14 months before dying. Someone else would have to verify that, but it would not surprise me, given that auto workers were exposed to lots of bad stuff. So were teachers by the way, the buildings are mostly old and full of asbestos.

          •  Anecdotal, but relevant (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            catwho, drmah, ban48, Texan001

            A friend's father labored for a lifetime as a chemist in the paint labs of Detroit, working to make sure the cars were nice and shiny. The man retired at 65, and almost exactly 1 year later died of a heart attack. How sad that he didn't get to enjoy the retirement he had worked so hard to earn.

            •  My mom beat the odds. She lived to be 99, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ban48, Texan001, The grouch

              collecting her Indiana State Teacher's Retirement, right up to the very end. With Cost-of-Living benefits, she was paid higher monthly benefits than she ever earned teaching. She started teaching during the Great Depression for $800.00 a year with a yearly increase of 50 cents for each year of experience.  

              •  A friend of my father-in-law is beating the odds (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                drmah, The grouch

                living 20 years into retirement.  And my father-in-law burns in jealous rage whenever he thinks about it.  I can explain all I want about the statistics or how pensions are cheaper and more efficient than personal savings or how it is just like a fire insurance payout, and he doesn't care.  He can't see past "paid retirement" and people like him ultimately enabled wall street to perform what is probably the biggest heist in history.

                People who think politics is stupid are doomed to be ruled by stupid people.

                by ban48 on Wed May 14, 2014 at 02:45:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I had read 6 years for auto workers. But it might (0+ / 0-)

            have been manufacturing in general.  In any event, it was a low number.  Long before the wall street private equity party, corporate executives had been given themselves lavish retirements paid for by the pension fund, so what private equity was doing wasn't totally novel, they just lifted it up a notch.

            People who think politics is stupid are doomed to be ruled by stupid people.

            by ban48 on Wed May 14, 2014 at 02:48:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Do people know what NC teachers make? (12+ / 0-)

    The range is from about $30,000 starting to $60,000 after 30 years.

    These are all people with at least a Bachelor's Degree.  Yet if they are a beginning teacher trying to support a family of six, their salary would put them below the poverty line.

    If the state senator wants to brag that the "average" employer in this country would be proud of that record, let him go after it.

    The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

    by NCJim on Tue May 13, 2014 at 04:48:07 PM PDT

    •  Figures on poverty level 2014 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blugrlnrdst, Philpm, BMScott, 417els

      The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

      by NCJim on Tue May 13, 2014 at 04:48:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have a family member teaching in N.C. - (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo, catwho

      She has a master's degree and 17 years experience and she makes $45,000 - the same amount she made 6 years ago.

      Proud to be a Democrat

      by Lying eyes on Tue May 13, 2014 at 09:55:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm assuming the cost of living is pretty low (0+ / 0-)

        as well.  In my suburban DC district, first year teachers start about about $47K (may be a little more) with a bachelor's degree.

        “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

        by musiclady on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:05:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes Senator Curtis, these teachers want decent pay (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The grouch, penelope pnortney

      a defined pension, sufficient vacation, and a decent way of life, just like the majority of other American workers had until people like you made a mockery of the American dream.  

      Instead of badmouthing the teachers Senator, wouldn't it seem reasonable to you to fight for those pension, wage, and vacation benefits for all of North Carolina's workers rather than the system of glorified serfdom that you are espousing in your snide remarks.

      But then, you and your friends are probably part of the 1% and are able to send you kids to private schools where the teachers are paid even less.

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Tue May 13, 2014 at 10:28:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What a lot of these people (3+ / 0-)

      like this idiotic senator don't understand is that most teachers work above and beyond their official work schedule.  It's not like working a shift at a factory or a convenience store or something, where you go home at the end of your shift and don't do anything work-related until you show up the next workday.

      Most teachers spend hours "off the clock" grading tests and assignments and preparing lessons.  Many spend their own money on supplies and supplemental materials for use in the classroom because school budgets won't cover the extras sufficiently.

      And while I can't speak for NC, I know at least many states require ongoing professional development in order to maintain a teaching license, which means that many of those "days off" that people crow about  ("teachers get summers off, hur hur hur") are actually spent taking classes, while other days are used to work a second job to make ends meet because they make less than other professionals with the same amount of college prep, but have the same student loans.

      Oh, and the districts don't always pay for those professional development classes, so the tuition and fees sometimes come out of the teachers' pocket too.

      And God forbid they try to earn an additional teaching endorsement or an advanced degree (often a requirement of continued employment).  Again, frequently at their own cost.  What's the cost per credit hour for graduate level courses these days?  It isn't cheap.

      In my brief teaching career, I taught part time in the late 90's.  My official annual salary was about $12k per year for the equivalent of a 5/8 time position.  In actuality, I was putting in well over 40 hours per week because the school textbooks and resources were so out-of-date and ancient (or missing) that I spent a great deal of time creating lesson plans from scratch and incorporating my own personal resources into lessons.  It was draining, and to top it off the teaching staff had no support from the administration, the superintendent was months away from retirement and just trying to keep his head down to finish out his time, and the principal was a jellyfish that rolled over at the tiniest push from a parent.

      I was asked by my students one day how much I earned, and I told them and they couldn't believe that they literally could go to one of the local fast food places and earn about as much as I was making as a teacher.

      •  Absolutely!! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        My second job out of college was as a school social worker for 4 elementary schools in one of the poorest districts in IN.  My aunt taught first grade at one of the schools.  She recently retired after 40+ years, but working with teachers while I was employed as a school social worker & following my aunt's carreer, I learned a lot about the noble profession.  First, I never met a teacher who did the job strictly from 8:00-3:00, late August to late May.  Every teacher has to devote some of their own time - how much depends upon the teacher.  Second, teachers are never given the resources needed to do their jobs.  I'm not talking about "extras" for special projects some teachers choose to pursue with their students (my aunt used to tie dye shirts & put on a play each year, complete with sets the kids painted.).  I'm referring to the fact that in some classrooms teachers don't have enough text books.  They need paper, glue, crayons, etc.  They have to pay for this out of their own pocket.  Third, in most states teachers are required to obtain either a master's degree or continuing education credits.  Often they have to pay for these classes & materials out of their own pockets.

        Teachers continue to be devalued in our society.  Unions that would protect their rights are weakened or disbanded.  Often politicians are weakening our public schools and their attacking their educators intentionally, in order to pave the way for the privatization of our educational system.  (In a win-win for them, the campaign $$ keeps flowing).  As in any other profession, teachers range from outstanding to those exceptions who should probably be doing something else with their lives.  But, for most, the profession (and it is a profession) is one they have been called to, and they serve their communities with distinction, passing on to the next generation a curiosity and love of learning that has the potential to take them anywhere.

        So, what can we do.  Politically, write letters to your reps.  Let them know that you support your educators, that public education & it's funding in your community are a priority.  If your teachers do have a union, contact them & ask how you can get involved.  Organize a letter writing party or petition.  And, at the school level, support your teachers.  Let them know they are appreciated.  We do a "wish list" for our daughter's teacher.  At the beginning of the year & each tri-mester we send an e-mail & invite him to make a list of the items he's short of.  Then we buy as many of them as we can.  If money is an issue, volunteer.  There are always copies to be made, things to staple & cut.  If time is an issue, some teachers can send work home for parents to help with.  Bonus: if your child sees you volunteering, that is worth a fortune in and of itself!

  •  My wife is an Oklahoma teacher (22+ / 0-)

    She has not has a pay raise for several years, and with the additional contribution she now has to make to the State Retirement, she has taken an effective pay cut.

    She is contracted for 180 teaching days. She is not compensated for non-school days.

    She is also compensated for 8 hours per day plus a small stipend for teaching Special Ed. That stipend is meant to cover about 5% extra duties.

    The bottom line is that she, and every other decent teacher in this state works vastly longer hours than their contracts demand, and they do it unpaid. Jodie estimates her paperwork burden to represent about 20% over her contracted hours, and that's 15% more than she is paid for.

    She would happily work for the same compensation package as a State Senator.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Tue May 13, 2014 at 04:52:11 PM PDT

    •  With that sort of committment to education in (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg, Texan001

      Oklahoma, I don't expect much advanced scholarship coming from that state, although you do have Oral Roberts University there, so you never know.  

      I'm sure that your wife does that best that she can and is a fine teacher in the face of dwindling resources, but on its face, your description of the educational environment in Oklahoma sounds dismal.

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Tue May 13, 2014 at 10:32:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We live in a relatively (0+ / 0-)

        prosperous district.

        The school is a good one within the context of this state, but it could be a lot better.

        Some schools not far from here are suffering very badly. Last I heard, Tulsa Public Schools, the 5th largest district in the nation, had vacancies for 30 Special Ed. teachers that it could not fill. I have no idea who they are putting in those classrooms.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        Who is twigg?

        by twigg on Wed May 14, 2014 at 04:59:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The hostility is apparent (8+ / 0-)

    As is the pathetic trope, used for several years now, of arguing that teachers' pay and benefits are not actually low because Reaganomics acolytes have succeeded at destroying private-sector wages and pensions even more.
    Truly a race to the bottom.

    And yet guys like this are elected to office in state after state. I know people, including teachers, who moved from the northeast to North Carolina for the cheap housing, etc. They're fleeing in droves now.

    “Republicans...think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people... And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.” Harry S. Truman

    by fenway49 on Tue May 13, 2014 at 04:58:57 PM PDT

    •  It is what it is (0+ / 0-)
      As is the pathetic trope, used for several years now, of arguing that teachers' pay and benefits are not actually low because Reaganomics acolytes have succeeded at destroying private-sector wages and pensions even more.
      Truly a race to the bottom.
      Even if assertions about Reaganomics are correct, there is no reason for public workers to have any better of a deal than private workers.

      Public wages and benefits should always mirror private wages and benefits. Private salaries fall, public salaries fall. Private salaries rise, public salaries rise.

      The private workers footing the bill for all of this deserve no less.

      I don't have an opinion about whether NC teachers are underpaid or not. You'd have to compare to some private sector baseline.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Wed May 14, 2014 at 12:05:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Says who? Where do you come up with these (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Throw The Bums Out, musiclady

        pronouncements from on high? You haven't a shred of evidence that is fact based to back up your assertions, ever. I gotta ask, spark, do you really consider yourself a liberal, or are you just trolling and trying to burn people's asses? Because you can't seriously believe this stuff and call yourself a Democrat. The "private workers" are getting premium services from the "public" workers on the cheap. Even with the benefits package. That ain't my opinion, that is the findings of academic research subject to peer review, Rutgers did a study on it. If the public had to pay educated civil servants what they are worth in the private sector, it WOULD COST MORE. Please do some reading before you form an opinion.

        •  Re (0+ / 0-)
          If the public had to pay educated civil servants what they are worth in the private sector, it WOULD COST MORE
          Then why aren't public sector workers fleeing for the private sector in droves since (according to you) they can make a lot more money there?

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Wed May 14, 2014 at 05:59:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe for some people (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            manneckdesign, htowngenie, leftangler

            It's not all about money.

            “Republicans...think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people... And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.” Harry S. Truman

            by fenway49 on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:04:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Notice he didn't comment on the actual research (0+ / 0-)

              he has to counter with a question that doesn't address the fact; public workers with degrees, like educators, are paid more in the private sector. In fact, even less educated public workers weren't lavishly compensated compared to similar workers. This is all propaganda from Wall St so the can privatize the commons and charge a lot of fees. Things like a guarantee of pay for inmates whether they have them or not. The hedge fund managers don't believe this bullshit themselves, they just want everyone else, and folks like sparhawk, to buy into it. Or check out the lavish salaries paid to charter and private special needs directors, half a mil for Eva moskowitz at Success Academy. She won't pay rent to use NYC public schools, oh no. What charter schools do is set up a real estate company and charge rent they pay to themselves, with the taxpayers funding it. The graft and corruption in private charters and special needs schools is enough to make you puke.

          •  Well... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            leftangler, chickenfarmerwood

            ....what kind of job would you expect a public sector 4th grade teacher to take? Someone whose expertise is in working with 9 year olds? Should he/she work at the YMCA for minimum wage? Who in the private or nonprofit agency sector hires teachers for full time jobs that pay decently?

            I'm a licensed teacher with a master's degree who managed to get into a non-teaching job for a nonprofit mental health agency (for less pay than a teacher, by the way), and let me tell you, it wasn't easy. Unfortunately, you often can't just take a bachelor or master's degree in education and apply it anywhere. There's a widespread (and nasty) assumption that, as a teacher, you know how to wrangle children, photocopy worksheets, mark up papers with red pen, put gold stars on things, and write up report cards every quarter/trimester/semester/whatever. Even if you have a thorough ability for advertising your skills in a resume or interview, many private sector and nonprofit organization hiring managers and such just think "Well, why isn't she/he teaching?"

            That has been my experience, at least.

            We are all students and teachers. I often ask myself: "What did I come here to learn, and what did I come to teach?"

            by nerafinator on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:24:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  They are! Half the teachers quit within 5 years (0+ / 0-)

            That's a lot of teachers. Imagine if half of surgeons did the same....

        •  No, Sparhawk is a "Left Libertarian" and has (0+ / 0-)

          never claimed to be a liberal.  We are a big tent, after all.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:25:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  He's not a left libertarian. Chomsky is. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            There's no room in the tent for Sparhawk here. I'm sure he's good conversation as a kind of oddity at barbecues, but he ( she? ) brings nothing to the table here but right wing talking points that are not substantiated by research. Time and again. Nothing in the right wing or libertarian cannon is supported by serious research.

  •  Pay changes over time (7+ / 0-)

    Based on this very informative map displaying average teacher pay in all states and over many years:

    North Carolina teachers currently average  nearly $46K.
    In 1970 (about the time I made a decision in a different state that teaching was not a career path for me) it was the equivalent of --- about $46K

    However, more recent history has shown a steady decline.
    2000          54K
    2010          50K
    2012          47K

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Tue May 13, 2014 at 05:06:14 PM PDT

    •  46K is great when milk is $1.80 a gallon (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      asterkitty, 417els, MadGeorgiaDem

      It's over 4 bucks now.  Gas was 89 cents, $3.50 here in SC and we're the land of cheap gas.

      And teachers now pretty much can not be without an internet connection at home, so that's $30 a month 1970 46K teachers didn't have to pay.

      The list goes on and on and on.....

      Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

      by PsychoSavannah on Tue May 13, 2014 at 06:26:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, the 46K is adjusted dollars (0+ / 0-)

        In 1970 they didn't make that amount, they made an amount that would be equivalent to 46K in today's dollars.

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Wed May 14, 2014 at 07:30:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Methinks his district is 99% white, too (0+ / 0-)

    Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

    by fourthcornerman on Tue May 13, 2014 at 05:26:37 PM PDT

  •  We don't get 8 weeks of paid vacation (15+ / 0-)

    The money we receive during the summer is backpay from work already completed. We actually only receive about 3/4 of our actual pay in our paychecks because the rest is held from us until summer. I don't even have a choice in the matter. That is not the definition of paid vacation, which is getting paid for not working.  

    "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

    by Texas Lefty on Tue May 13, 2014 at 05:40:07 PM PDT

    •  That paid vacation crap always gets me. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RLF, nerafinator, chickenfarmerwood

      Teachers are not paid for days not worked.  They are salaried.  Their per diem rate of pay is their annual salary divided by the days worked.  Summer months are unpaid.  Some school districts will allow them to have their pay spread out as a courtesy but many do not do this.  Most teachers spend those summer months either working another job or taking classes for certification or professional development and they spend much of that time planning for the next year.  

      “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

      by musiclady on Wed May 14, 2014 at 04:25:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Enforced layoff (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Teachers are, in effect, laid off every summer and rehired. But it's done in such a way that they can't get unemployment during their enforced furlough.

      •  YES! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'm a teacher (though not working as one anymore), and many of my friends are teachers. You should see how busy they are in the summer buying new supplies, planning new lessons/units/whole courses (many of them are notified in June or July that some or all of their assigned courses will be different in the fall), etc. They also often pay hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars over the summers to take continuing education classes both for their own enrichment/professional development but also to meet the requirements for renewal of their licenses.

        One of my (masters-degree educated) teacher friends works at a mid-price chain restaurant waiting tables in the summers, and if you count her tips she makes as much each week doing that as she does each week during the school year. She works that summer job to work toward her goal of having her 60,000-ish of student loans paid off in 10 years instead of 20. My heart breaks for the hours she puts in year-round--- 60-70 hours a week from late August to mid-June, then 30-ish hours a week at the restaurant over the summers plus the time she spends preparing for the next school year.

        We are all students and teachers. I often ask myself: "What did I come here to learn, and what did I come to teach?"

        by nerafinator on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:43:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  and if NC... (7+ / 0-) anything like Illinois that35K pension is all she gets.  no SS for teachers in Illinois all they get is their teachers pension.  which the state has been underfunding and cutting left and right all the time.  and is far less that what the legislators get and they work less.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Tue May 13, 2014 at 06:10:23 PM PDT

  •  Just another reason (3+ / 0-)

    "In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” -Confucius

    by pierre9045 on Tue May 13, 2014 at 06:45:44 PM PDT

  •  So many right-wing jerks; so little time... n/t (0+ / 0-)

    All that is necessary for the triumph of the Right is that progressives do nothing.

    by Mystic Michael on Tue May 13, 2014 at 08:54:54 PM PDT

  •  Wow! Unbelievable! (0+ / 0-)

    Wow! Unbelievable! (2+ / 0-)

     I am very skeptical of ANY of our Senators and Reps in D.C., in charge of our future, and charged with the well-being of their constituents...
       This trickles down to the skepticism I have for my own (heck, all states') home state Legislators, who mostly have their own agenda in reaching D.C. to expand their own egos (... I mean, power-base!)
       Here, a teacher pours her heart out detailing, basically, the plight, trials, and tribulations of the "common man" found all over this great nation, in whatever capacity, and someone with a sense of (self-) importance "deigns" to answer with sarcasm?
       Here I go... TYPICAL!
       I wouldn't mind self-made millionaires being in office, as long as they remember "us," and where they came from...
       I know, this is a kinda disjointed comment, but I've been silent for so long and this diary raised all KINDS of hackles on me that I started to get up on my soapbox...

    (Copied and pasted from another Post further down dealing with the same subject...)

    "Smelling the birds and watching the flowers has its own charm, too!"-found in Daily Calendar

    by Texan001 on Tue May 13, 2014 at 11:51:34 PM PDT

  •  this burns me as a former teacher (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MadGeorgiaDem, catwho

    8 weeks off is a joke as I was expected to attend school workshops and development on my own time as well as to take university courses every summer on my own dime to keep up with trends.  I also was expected to come in a couple of weeks early to clean my classroom and prepare it for the coming year.  I was lucky to get two weeks if I took 2 courses at university in different sessions.

    The retirement he cited is average or below average for a company 401K.  It is not great favor as most university educated 30 year workers can expect much more from their investments.  Also what is the death benefit of the state plan?  If I die, my 401K is my heirs; who gets the remainder of my state retirement?

    NC is a low cost state because it is a low service state.  Check out the roads in some blue states and then look at state roads around here.  Check out where many people get their water or sanitation.  How many residents still have outhouses or pitcher pumps or have to rely on their own wells and septic tanks?  Of course it is a low tax state; you get what you pay for and in NC, the fat cats and corporations don't pay    

    •  20 hrs per year of prof dev for a school social (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      entlord, libera nos

      on my time, on my dime, I don't complain about the pay or benefits ( both reduced ) I do complain that they were cut to give billionaires in NJ a tax break. Wanna cut my pay to fund preschools. I won't like it, but ok, it's for a good cause. Cut my pay because the rich might leave NJ if they don't get a tax cut? Seriously? Sadly, there are many who hold these same positions, not just in the public but on the board of ed. my checks used to say that the board provides your insurance and so on, yet the state stepped in and TOLD towns how much they could cover for insurance. so much for local control.

      •  I quit teaching in 1993; I warned the principal (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        my salary and benefits were a joke and I was losing money I could make in the private sector every day I taught.  I warned her that I was sacrificing time from my own kids to try to fix kids that were broken by their own parents.

        She did not heed me and after 15 years of teaching, I left.  Never looked back though former students continue to contact me from time to time.  The old canard of "teaching because you can do nothing else" burns me; I taught because I loved it and when it became too much of a burden, I left and found success in other fields

  •  pathetic (0+ / 0-)

    a pathetic little man who unfortunately can always find a circle of pathetic little men to agree, laugh, back slap.

  •  Those 8 weeks of summer aren't paid (0+ / 0-)

    My late mother, who was a teacher, always had to take a part time job in the summer.

    “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Lyndon Baines Johnson

    by spacecadet1 on Wed May 14, 2014 at 05:58:13 AM PDT

  •  Went to his facebook page to leave a comment (0+ / 0-)

    The comments to him are from the several dozen I read 100% in the teachers' favor. What a douche.
    And another doctor!? (Don't know whether he's a self-certified optometrist like his GOP buddy Rand Paul, or not.) WTH is WRONG with these people?

    America is a COUNTRY, not a CORPORATION. She doesn't need a CEO. Vote Obama.

    by manneckdesign on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:47:27 AM PDT

  •  Even if it's a deep red district, it's a shame he (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    doesn't have an opponent.  

    Libertarianism, n: A political philosophy some people embrace after the roads have been paved. (Stolen from Kurt Weldon)

    by lineatus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 07:10:09 AM PDT

  •  I think he got that first statement wrong. (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe he really meant to say:

    Since you naturally do not want to remain in a profession of which you are shamed,
    I'm sure the rest of his response could be tightened up a bit too.

    When lots of people show up to vote, Democrats tend to win.

    by Audri on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:41:20 AM PDT

  •  "...private sector workers making 87%.. (0+ / 0-)

    of the national average and teachers making 85% of the national average..."

    Even by his own math, it looks like this putz owes the teachers of North Carolina a pay raise.

    Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you...Elsie de Wolfe

    by Hilltop Mama on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:54:03 AM PDT

  •  Good lord (0+ / 0-)

    What a jerk.

    I have to admit, though, that I'd like to see the teacher's original message for some context. Is that at all possible?

    We are all students and teachers. I often ask myself: "What did I come here to learn, and what did I come to teach?"

    by nerafinator on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:52:49 AM PDT

  •  Defined Benefit Not Defined Contribution (0+ / 0-)

    He's also wrong in that what he describes, but is mislabeled, is a defined benefit plan (pension) not a defined contribution plan (401k type).

  •  I encountered one of these people (0+ / 0-)

    In fact, the only person I've ever unfriended on, er, a certain social media site.  He kept trying to gin up outrage over the fact that, "MY GOD! The teachers' union has billions of dollars in their retirement fund!"

    without, um...

    ...ever identifying any corruption whatsoever in the fund?

    He kept screaming about how teachers, those awful teachers (he also went after police, and--great sympathy-getter, this guy--firefighters for the same reason), would "get a pay out of almost x/x of a million dollars" at retirement.  

    It turned out that he had simply added up their $48,000 (maximum) pension, over the projected time of their retirement, to add it up to x/x of a million dollars.  I replied: "uh... I'm a taxpayer, and I'm... happy to pay teachers $70,000 a year (again, that's about their maximum pay), and to pay them $48,000 a year in pensions?  What's the problem?"  All he could do was simply repeat the hysteria, and then accuse me of "wanting anybody but [me] to pay for it," when of course, as a taxpayer, I'd just volunteered to do exactly that.

    Sorry about the rant, but whew.

  •  Let Him Know What You Think (0+ / 0-)

    Post on Twitter: @DrDavidCurtis

  •  Unoposed Tea Baggers (0+ / 0-)

    I see that as one of the Democrats (our) major problems, we need to put SOMEONE credible (not necessarily a "good" candidate, how about "acceptable?), in every legislative and congressional district.

    That way when they (inevitably) step on their ying-yangs, we have the potential to get a pick up.  Yes, the mouth breathing Faux news watching frothers are pretty much of a lost cause.   But all we need is a portion of the voters out there to grow disgusted/alarmed (Drinking water in West Virginia anyone?) and we might save this country yet.

    In the dark shadow of the Great Satan of Retail

    by OzarkOrc on Wed May 14, 2014 at 12:50:45 PM PDT

  •  NYC Senator Salary - Teacher Paid time off (0+ / 0-)

    Let's talk about the senator's compensation...

    $79,500 a year with a per diem (allowance for daily expenses) of $171 per day ($61 per half-day). He is also provided with  a pension-retirement plan. If you want to calculate his retirement you can go here.


    It always gets to me when people talk about all the paid time off teachers get. Teachers sign a contract to work so many days. Summer, winter, and spring break are not paid vacations. We are paid for our contracted days - and a few legal holidays - but not for non-working days such as breaks.

    Many districts now break a teacher's salary up into 12 paychecks, which promotes the misunderstanding that summer is a paid vacation. This is done for convenience and to help teachers budget (and perhaps for the bit of interest a large district can collect on the money being held in the bank).

    It would be better not to know so many things than to know so many things that are not so. - Felix Okaye

    by eclecticguy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 12:54:19 PM PDT

    •  OOPS - I made a mistake... (0+ / 0-)

      Those salary figures are from New York State, not North Carolina. My mistake. NC's senate salary is $13,951 with a per diem of $104 a day - so they don't pay so well.  Maybe that's the problem. NC gets what it pays for.

      It would be better not to know so many things than to know so many things that are not so. - Felix Okaye

      by eclecticguy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 01:01:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just curious Doc. (0+ / 0-)

    How is the real estate business doing?

  •  One wonders at the lack of a more up to date Bio. (0+ / 0-)

    Things like what did your parents do for a living? How were you able to attend college? What debt did you have, if any, after college and optometry school. In short, were you one of those born with the silverspoon in your mouth? If not born as the son of wealthy parents, did you pull yourself up by your own bootstraps? In either case, whether you were born with the silverspoon in your mouth or you pulled yourself up by your own bootstraps, I am positive there were those constantly on vacation, overpaid, underworked, school teachers hauling on those boot straps. One wonders why teachers have less vacation time than NC Senators and get paid a heck of a lot less than the likes of you.
    I am curious, If you will just answer the following questions:
    1. How much are you paid, that includes committee perks, transportation, sojourns to exotic places on someone elses cuff.
    2. How many days a week do you work?
    3. How many hours a day do you spend at work?
    Thank you.

  •  Thanks for pointing this out . . . (0+ / 0-)

    I just posted a nastygram on his facebook page . . .

    "The water won't clear up 'til we get the hogs out of the creek." -- Jim Hightower

    by lartwielder on Wed May 14, 2014 at 01:30:16 PM PDT

  •  how very awful! (0+ / 0-)

    In March , we were on a trip and stopped in NC. At a restaurant, we got to talking to our lovely waitress, a college student.
    she had always wanted to be a teacher, in fact started college as an education major, but because teachers are so poorly treated in NC, she changed her major.
    and education lost a bright, personable, caring individual.

    as a retired educator, it makes me very sad.
    Curtis forgot that much of "8 weeks vacation" is used for required course work or a second job, because teaching does not pay enough

  •  Nice Facebook comments!!! (0+ / 0-)

    I went to his Facebook page and am impressed with all the pro-Wiles and anti-Curtis comments posted there!  GOOD WORK FELLOW KOS-TERS!

  •  We have a Republican clown (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    running for Commissioner here who professes that any civil servant must understand they have no rights and are like indentured servants of the Gentry class.
    He is apparently not of the Gentry class.  He demands an end to Federal programs but yet lies at the tit of Federal housing construction programs money.  His resume' is fraught with errors, he only has a loud mouth.

  •  Running uncontested? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Other than the obvious shock at the lack of civility and dignity befitting the office of a State Senator, I read with interest the fact that this guy is running unopposed, along with the comment that a Democrat wouldn't have a chance in his heavily Republican district.

    Well, you know, as the saying goes, there IS more than one way to skin a cat.  Why doesn't someone just register as a Republican and then run against him?  

    This is likely what a Republican in a Democratic district would do.  It matters not if the challenger was a registered Democrat beforehand or not.  People change parties all the time and they also elect to be a member in one party or another for reasons other than political beliefs, i.e., family tradition, employment, etc.

    Personally, this is a strategy Democrats need to employ.  Just target an incumbent, move into their district, register as a Republican and run.  

    It could be a "new 50 State Strategy".

  •  I was not a teacher, but a teacher assistant. (0+ / 0-)

    For 10 years, one of the lowest paid employees in the system.  Even janitors made more.  First year, $5,000, last year, $8,000.  We were on the same pay schedule as teachers, didn't get paid in summer unless they took one day each week out of our pay and put it towards checks to come in the summer.  I was the Union Rep, here in Florida, for my school. Most teachers were not union members.  That may surprise the republicans who rag on the unions.  I did my best to inform the teachers as well as the assistants and office personell about negociations and what the union was trying to do for them.  One year our superintendant decided that us assistants were "paid volenteers" and didn't need a raise.  We actually were stronger members of the union then the teachers, guess he didn't know that, and we fought for our raise, with the union backing us.  Took it to the school board, picketed outside the building, made our voices heard.  The board over ruled him, we got our raise and a system to give step raises every year, and for professional development classes.  The super left at the end of that year, thankfully.  He was not happy we won.  I know what teachers and their support staff do.  It is hard work, mentally challenging and doesn't stop when the kids go home or summer comes.  They pay out of their own pockets for supplies.  I did the same.  I worked with handicapped kids, in a poor school, in a poor, racially mixed neighborhood, my neighborhood.  I knew the kids, they knew me.  This idiot makes my blood boil!  He isn't fit to wash the feet of any teacher!  Shame on him and others like him who have never been in a classroom, who have never worked with kids with challenges of poverty, handicaps, lack of food, addicted parents.  I wore myself out working there, had to stop because I had gotten ill and couldn't get well.  It took a year for me to recover.  Many teachers worked second jobs, one as a cashier in a restuarant.  

  •  NC undereducated representative (0+ / 0-)

    obviously he makes a mistake when referring to the teachers action group as a union, and then suffers a more ridiculous fate of no knowing that his own state disallows union bargaining for teachers. What a fine state NC is and clearly represents the will of the majority. Pathetic miserable scumbag. My daughter is a devoted teacher and puts in long hours, spend her own money and is vilified when asking for a raise.
    Courage, real courage is being able to face a critique over your convictions and obviously the GOP and this shaman are unable to demonstrate real courage.

  •  What this state senator doesn't realize is that (0+ / 0-)

    this teacher probably puts in more hours, paid and unpaid than he will ever work as a senator, and don't get paid nearly as much between his state pay, and his kick-backs. Teachers is my district, in my state, are paid for 37.5 hours a week, this does not include PTA meetings, Parent/teacher conferences, hours spent at home planning for their class, or grading the student's papers, this is why they get their 2 1/2 months off in the summer, because they worked enough hours to cover that time. My district is either 6th or 7th largest district in the country, located in Florida, and in Broward County. Our Governor Tricky Ricky has done what he can to destroy the public school system, trying to promote Charter schools, which aren't even held to the same standards as public school, and are failing at a greater rate(ie. bankruptcies). Legislature claim they have been throwing money at the problem for years with no results, its probably because the money was given to every crackpot know it all, who doesn't, instead of reducing class sizes, and actually funding the schools.

  •  Glass stomach candidate for sure (0+ / 0-)

    Curtis needs to be fitted with a glass stomach so that he can have a clearer view of the world since he has his head up his rear end.  He obviously must be a self made jerk that got his degree without teachers.

  •  There's a bigger pattern (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peregrine kate, JerryNA

    Has anyone else noticed the frequency with which Conservatives are so busy insulting other people that they can't be bothered to get their facts straight?

    I don't think it's because they're stupid, I think it's because they're so morally bankrupt that the facts don't matter to them as long as they can put someone else down.

    We've been reading them wrong for all these years.  They're not idiots.

    They're monsters.

  •  Breaking news ... This just in - (0+ / 0-)

    Sometimes, politicians (apparently, Republicans ones especially), will lie (or make crap up that they TRULY BELIEVE) if it helps them to make a point.

    More on this, EVERYWHERE on these pages, as the story develops.

    OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

    by mstaggerlee on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:07:29 AM PDT

  •  I hope that teacher (0+ / 0-)

    was able to respond and point out the pay, lifelong benefits and time worked of a US senator!  What a complete TOOL!

Ottoe, Joe Bob, Geenius at Wrok, dengre, brendan1963, eeff, exNYinTX, hnichols, Babsnc, cyberKosFan, librarianman, Iberian, splashy, wader, nio, Texknight, manneckdesign, psnyder, Miss Jones, pat bunny, Catte Nappe, lcrp, stringer bell, nswalls, Major Kong, zerelda, mungley, Black Max, Josiah Bartlett, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, radarlady, Tinfoil Hat, boji, Ckntfld, caul, Lying eyes, democracy inaction, BCO gal, basquebob, dewtx, stagemom, eru, SaraBeth, jimstaro, science geek, blue jersey mom, markdd, quiet in NC, peacestpete, xaxnar, Philpm, MadGeorgiaDem, myboo, 417els, twigg, NCJan, ER Doc, middleagedhousewife, Turbonerd, onionjim, BlueMississippi, CA Nana, Persiflage, kurt, postmodernista, BeninSC, hooper, Habitat Vic, Dave in Northridge, mommyof3, jayden, eashep, gchaucer2, hopi13, cececville, TomP, Empower Ink, ChocolateChris, hulagirl, Phil N DeBlanc, Youffraita, Buckeye Nut Schell, lineatus, monkeybrainpolitics, tofumagoo, Jeff Y, temptxan, elpacifico66, forgore, JBL55, legendmn, LaFeminista, maggiejean, Throw The Bums Out, Dirtandiron, spacecadet1, WakeUpNeo, glitterlust, Keith Pickering, stevenwag, sfarkash, commonmass, Susan Grigsby, Polly Syllabic, batchick, AJ in Camden, DiegoUK, ban48, DrTerwilliker, slice, kerflooey, NJ elitist, bgblcklab1, slowbutsure, asterkitty, lexalou, OhioNatureMom, bookgirl, Teiresias70, trumpeter, Texas Lefty, boomerchick, IllanoyGal, thomask, wintergreen8694, Joe Hill PDX, peregrine kate, Joe Jackson, Vatexia, Hayate Yagami, SteelerGrrl, weinerschnauzer, allergywoman, quill, anodnhajo, sow hat, Siri, We Won, ahumbleopinion, Joieau, a2nite, FloridaSNMOM, Free Jazz at High Noon, BusyinCA, Olkate, avsp, George3, Kayjay, SwordsandPens, Windowpane, Robynhood too, live1, Hammerhand, IamGumby, Linda1961, poopdogcomedy, GwenM, Mannie, ET3117, runfastandwin, Floyd Blue, Catkin, Lordcaradoc, htowngenie, blugrlnrdst, pierre9045, gnosticator, sillycarrot, thanatokephaloides, ginimck, ptressel, JimValent, hbk, AJayne, nerafinator, wiggin01, Cynthia Hobgood Strauss, liberaldad2, DareISay, BMScott, bobcat41702, allie4fairness, kenneth houck, doctormif

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site