RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Virginia may be trying to take some teachers out of North Carolina, and they’re offering some big incentives.
A billboard on I-440 in Raleigh offers up to $10,000 for any teachers who go to work in Richmond Public Schools in Virginia.
“The billboard is sad, but it’s not surprising because there are a lot of states, including Virginia, that pay their teachers more than we pay them in North Carolina,” Keith Poston with the WakeEd Partnership said.
And that’s one of the main concerns for teachers in the state: pay.
“We just need to restore what we used to offer when adjusted for inflation, so teachers can feel like they can pay their bills and not work second jobs,” Kim Mackey, a teacher in Wake County, said.
We’ve all heard of a nationwide teacher shortage, but some education advocates we spoke with say that’s not the real issue.
“I don’t really believe we have a teacher shortage, I think we have a shortage of college-educated professional men and women who are willing to work as a teacher in the conditions they have to teach, and the salary they make,” Poston said.
In a statement regarding the billboard, a spokesperson for Wake County Public Schools said, “Wake County Public School System educators are the best in the world. We don’t begrudge others for recognizing their excellence.”
But educators we spoke with say it goes beyond Wake County, and starts at the state level.
“When I hear teachers walking away it’s not because they don’t like teaching… they don’t like teaching in North Carolina,” Mackey said.
Advocates we spoke with say it’s not just about pay, but also about more support in the classroom and more respect.