Emails have North Carolina State Legislative Building buzzing

An email exchange between a North Carolina teacher and a state senator is generating a lot of buzz.
May 13, 2014 8:20:58 PM PDT
An email exchange between a North Carolina teacher and a state senator is generating a lot of buzz.

It began when Sarah Wiles sent a letter to all 170 members of the North Carolina General Assembly voicing her frustration.

"My students know that no one cares about education, because they frequently ask me why I ever made the decision to become a teacher," Wiles said in part in her four paragraph email written last Tuesday.

She ends by saying, "I am embarrassed for you. I am embarrassed by you. And, save for my students, I am embarrassed by being a teacher in North Carolina, the doormat of society."

Click here to read Wiles' letter (.pdf)

"It seems as though there are these cycles of when everybody cares about public education, and election season is a top season for caring about education," said Wiles to ABC11.

State Senator David Curtis of Gaston County says he thought about Wiles' email for three days before writing back.

On Monday, Curtis responded to Wiles and the General Assembly, saying in part, "My concern is that your students are picking up on your attitude toward the teaching profession."

"I think the teachers union has kind of sold the public on a somewhat erroneous idea that their total compensation is just extremely low," said Curtis.

He offered Wiles four suggestions for what she should tell her potential new private sector employer after she leaves teaching, which included expecting to be paid more money than she made as a teacher and expecting eight weeks paid vacation per year because that's what taxpayers gave her.

Click here to read Curtis' reply (.pdf)

Despite his take on the situation, Wiles said he plans to support a teacher pay raise, but that he just wants to "balance the conversation."  

On a side note, the president of the North Carolina Association of Educators says teachers do not actually get that eight weeks paid time off.


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