Jim also posted what the GA has been up to:
Top (or Bottom) 10 Facts Every Educator & Parent Should Know
The 2013 budget is en route to Governor McCrory & will be signed
1. Eliminates 9,306.5 education positions -- 5,184.5 teachers, 3,850 teacher assistants, and 272 Support Personnel (guidance counselors, psychologist, etc.).
2. Provides NO pay increases for educators, continuing North Carolina's race to the bottom of national salaries. In 2007-08 North Carolina was ranked 25th in the nation in teacher pay, last year our state was 46th. With no additional pay, next year North Carolina undoubtedly will be at the bottom.
3. While gutting public schools and educators, the legislature adopted a $50 million school voucher program ($10 million 2013-14, $40 million in 2014-15).
4. The North Carolina Budget eliminates career status for all teachers. Senate legislation, that received no public hearings in the House, was placed in the budget to eliminate career status for teachers. The new standard requires each school district to identify the top 25% of effective teachers without providing any criteria on how to accomplish this ranking of professionals. Teachers will be placed on a 1, 2, or 4 year contract. The top 25% will be given the option of receiving $500 to compensate them for the loss of due process rights. NOTE: the new system will be phased in over the course of the next five years.
5. North Carolina no longer values educators who work on their continuing education through Masters or Doctorate level degrees. Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, educators will receive no additional pay for additional degrees unless your job requires (counselors, school psychologists, etc.)
6. Grades Schools (A-F), 80% based on standardized test scores, 20% based on growth. No other variables will be considered in this grading.
7. Eliminates the Teaching Fellows Program, once heralded as a national model for recruiting teachers into the classroom, the program is no longer funded.
8. Reduces targeted education funding:
• Cuts Textbook funding by $77.4 million dollars;
• Cuts Classroom supply funding by $45.7 million dollars;
• Cuts Limited English Proficiency funding by $6 million dollars.
9. Retired educators will receive NO Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA).
10. The General Assembly will be back next year.