Local Superintendent Calls Budget Deal An Assault On Public Education

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The terrible reviews about the budget deal keep coming in, this time from Burke County teachers and officials, including Superintendent Larry Putnam. The Morganton News Herald reports,

Because the salary bump they’ve been promised includes longevity pay they’ve already earned and collected, many local educators say that the legislature’s offer is guileful, to say the least.

Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Larry Putnam called the budget an assault on students and public education, and that numbers are being inflated to make pay increases sound more appealing.

“While the budget claims that teachers are receiving a 7 percent salary increase, it’s not a true 7 percent because the longevity pay is simply being redistributed from an annual lump sum to a monthly installment. Calling a redistribution a raise is simply wrong,” he said. “They have eliminated salary steps for teachers who have only had one pay increase in six years. Teachers who have earned their years of service deserve to be paid for them.

“Principals and assistant principals are only getting a 1.9 percent pay increase. These people spend 10-16 hours a day, especially in high schools, at their jobs. They have so much responsibility on them, and to minimize their contributions as educational leaders is a disgrace.”

Drexel Elementary fourth-grade teacher Deanna Minetola, who now serves as president of Burke County’s chapter of the North Carolina Association of Educators, said that she, too, believes the legislature’s offer is deceitful.


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