Home Local News: Asheville and Hendersonville Who should be complaining?

Who should be complaining?

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By Fremont Brown- The other day I was at a polling place and got to talking a couple of the “Apple People” (Teachers, at least one of them was) you know the ones with cardboard Red Apples with Democrat Candidates names on it and they were upset about the Teachers COLA (cost of living adjustment) had been taken away.

It is my understanding that NC Teachers only receive COLAS in retirement. In 2018 a State Retiree COLA of a 1% one-time bonus for state retirees and retired teachers will be paid in a lump sum in the October retirement check on October 25, 2018.

This COLA is based on 1% of the retiree’s annual retirement benefit.
The following is from https://www.nctreasurer.com/ret/Benefits Handbooks/TSERShandbook.pdf Post-retirement increases are not guaranteed.

However, your benefit may be increased periodically after retirement to help you keep up with the cost of living.

Increases depend on changes in the Consumer Price Index and the availability of funds. Cost-of-living increases are usually figured as a percentage increase in your monthly benefit, which becomes a permanent part of your monthly benefit, under all payment options, and the monthly benefit to be paid to your beneficiary after your death under Options 2, 3, 6-2, and 6-3.

(See page 17 regarding increases under Option 4.)

For more information about Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) and how they are calculated and approved, visit www.myncretirement.com

Thanks to the Republican Legislature the teachers received pay raises of 7% in 2014, 3.8% in 2015, 4.7% in 2016, 3.3% in 2017, 6.2% in 2018.

Not bad pay increases considering that the inflation rate for 2014 was 0.8%, 2015 0.7%, 2016 2.1%, 2017 2.1% and 2018 will most likely be 2.3%. The inflation rate is the percentage rate of change in prices level over time.

As you can see the pay raises for Teachers were well above the inflation rate. Are they trying to make a mountain out of empty space?

Now let us look at the Salary Supplements that are paid to the extent that funding is available from and by the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners to Licensed/Certified Employees and Administrators listed in the Board of Education policy Manual of 2018: 0-4 years 8.5% of base salary, 5-9 years 9.5% of base salary, 10-14 years 10.5% of base salary, 15-19 years 11.5% of base salary, 20- 24 years 12.5% of base salary, 25-29 years 13.5% of base salary and 30 years or more 16% of base salary.

Also keep in mind, that the Superintendent, with the approval of the Board of Education, can approve additional supplements.

Did you know that in 2010, the last year of Democrat rule in the NC House and Senate, that Teachers were furloughed and rec’d pay cuts? So, why are the Teachers pushing Democrat Candidates?

Since the Democrats are FAR OUT NUMBERED in the Legislature and can not pass any bill unless the Republicans also want it, and since the Republicans have funded pay increases for them, where is the logic in that? Maybe folks…. you should not be worried about our school teachers pay or COLA, but be worried about their capabilities to reason and teach.

Maybe Teachers should be paid according to how well their students do on tests. Did you know that out of the 10 Buncombe County High Schools tracked by schooldigger.com, the average score for the end of course tests ranged from a low of 7 to a high of 86.2?

Here are the scores of the eight schools in between: 73.4, 71.3, 66.1, 61.9, 61.7, 58.6. 34.9 and 25.9. Making the average score for the ten schools 54.70.

Do you think there is a problem with Buncombe County Schools? Who should be complaining? The Teachers or the Parents and Students? Source: https://www.schooldigger.com/go/NC/schoolrank.aspx?level=3

Buncombe County’s Tony Baldwin is the highest-paid superintendent in the region, and receives an annual salary of $208,716. Buncombe County associate superintendent Susanne Swanger is paid $134,600 per year and assistant superintendent Joseph Hough receives $91,200 per year.

Baldwin has been superintendent since 2009. Sources: carolinapublicpress.org and buncombeschools.org. Really $434,516 on the top three administrators? What do you think? Is it time to get rid of someone or someones? What do you think… readjust the Super’s pay scale downward? And then hire a new Super or Super’s?

Did you know that it was Three Republican Buncombe County Commissioners and only one Democrat commissioner that voted to put six new School Resource Officers in Buncombe elementary schools bringing the total to 27? It seems that Republicans care more for the safety of your children.

Did you know that Buncombe County Board of Education received $771,788.64 from the NC Judicial Branch of Government Fine and Forfeitures for 2017 – 2018. These funds are exclusively for maintaining free public schools.

I think it would be interesting to know exactly how the School Board is spending it.

Did you know that North Carolina spends a total of 57% of its General Fund on education up from 51%.

Again I ask you: Who should be complaining?

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