"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
There once was a time when the field of education was considered a necessity.
It was a college major that would never go away in the state of North Carolina.
My, how things have changed.
The University of North Carolina system reports up to a 40-percent decline in students majoring in education.
And the news gets worse.
Johnson C. Smith University announced it is shutting down its Department of Education.
The reason: not nearly as many students are interested in working in the classrooms.
Who can blame them?
Teacher pay in North Carolina is now at an all time low.
Ranked 46th in the country. Five years ago, we were 25th.
Through the years, North Carolina lost its way when it came to taking care of its teachers.
This year, it looks like state leaders are finally playing catch-up - recommending a boost in teacher pay.
But we think it's too late and a couple of dollars short.
Teachers are already leaving North Carolina for higher-paying jobs.
Politicians must stop taking teachers for granted and work overtime to convince these educators that they are important.
If you are concerned that your child's teacher may pack up and leave because of low wages, low morale, and a lack of respect - contact your state legislator today.
This is an assignment politicians cannot fail again.