BYH to these elected officials who are paid by our tax dollars naming buildings after them, i.e. Butterfield, Owen's to...

Lawmakers in Raleigh neglect teachers and parents

Alison Killy

Alison Killy


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

I started my teaching career seven years ago to help shape the minds of young children and prepare them for their future. Over the years, I have watched countless young men and women chase their dreams to every corner of the world. I have personally witnessed the impact a quality education can have on a child’s mind, life and potential.

But over the last decade, I have also watched the amount of funding our state invests in public schools dwindle. I have watched parents struggle to be able to send their children to school with the tools necessary for them to succeed. And like thousands of other teachers in North Carolina, I too have struggled to provide the materials needed to educate young minds when the state refuses to provide those supplies. The question that we must all answer is, are we OK with this?

Are we OK with letting teachers, who are tasked with helping future generations of North Carolinians learn and grow, struggle to make ends meet? Are we OK with the fact that, adjusted for inflation, the lawmakers in Raleigh have cut classroom supply funding per student in half over the last 10 years? Are we OK with the fact that, even though our state’s economy has largely recovered from the recession that began in 2008, lawmakers still lack the desire and will to properly fund our children’s education?

It is frustrating that the lawmakers in Raleigh seem to think that handing out billions in tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires is more important than providing adequate funding for the tools needed to make sure our children can be successful and competitive in future global markets. In fact, the General Assembly now wants to give even more tax cuts to the top 1 percent through a constitutional amendment on the ballot in the upcoming midterm elections in November.

The most frustrating part of this whole equation is that lawmakers know who picks up the check they refuse to write. They know that teachers and parents will have to spend their personal money to make up for the General Assembly’s failure to fully fund our schools, but they do not seem to care. They seem willing to ignore everyone who does not fit their agendas — but I am here to tell them that teachers and parents are hurting. Our pockets are hurting from having to spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to provide classroom supplies for children in “free” public school. Our hearts are hurting to be reminded every year that our so-called leaders simply do not care about us.

Before I moved to my current job as an eighth-grade English teacher, I was at a Title 1 middle school. At this school, most parents often were in dire financial situations, so most of the burden of providing basic classroom supplies fell on the teachers. On an average year, I spent more than $200 just to provide basic necessities such as pencils, notebook paper, bandaids, tissues, cabinets, drawers, books, pens, expo markers and whiteboards. This was money that I knew I wouldn't get back from either the school or PTA, and was often money I could barely afford to spend — but it was a sacrifice I was forced to make either way.

Lawmakers’ lack of concern for students isn’t just “politics as usual,” but indicates a severe failure of our political and social system. Our children deserve better than weak excuses from lawmakers who seem to have forgotten how they got where they are. Our children deserve leaders who care about their future, and are willing to put their necks on the line to secure that future — but unfortunately that is not what they have. No, our children have leaders who care more about making political donors happy than securing the future of our state and country — and quite frankly, we’ve had enough.

Alison Killy is a teacher with Pitt County Schools. Progress North Carolina distributed her column.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Op Ed

November 20, 2018

Voters handed the leadership faction in North Carolina’s General Assembly a couple of black eyes this month.

First, two proposed constitutional amendments — which would have turned court appointments and the elections board, essentially, over to whoever’s running the legislature…

November 20, 2018

Disappointed after the midterm elections, Republicans are trying to decide which voters should be the party's top priority.

In recent elections, they have been losing votes from white college graduates, often in the suburbs, while gaining votes from whites without college degrees. Should…


November 20, 2018

I've got a confession to make: Back in 2006, I didn't vote.

It's not that I didn't want to. I'm one of those people who feels strongly that it's a basic duty of citizenship to vote in every election. I judge people who don't vote.

My excuse was that I was a UNC-Chapel Hill student still registered…

Colin Campbell

November 19, 2018

A false alarm in a North Carolina school this month was a sober warning all the same: Serious gun-law reform in this nation is long overdue.

Preliminary news reports suggested a school shooting could be in progress at Topsail High School north of Wilmington.

At around 6:30 a.m. Friday morning,…

November 19, 2018

VIENNA, AUSTRIA — Democracy is on the wane, even in this land of happy soft-spoken people; even in this broad boulevard, tree-lined city steeped in the ubiquitous strains of Strauss and Mozart.

They like most of the democratic people’s of the world have taken their democratic lead from…


November 19, 2018

Not that it is really in my interest to say this, but many of our political debates are a waste of time.

They may well be about important issues. But they go nowhere. The two different “sides” disagree strenuously without making a real effort to understand what their foes are saying.


john hood.jpg

November 18, 2018

His election wasn't close and his campaign didn't get much attention in Washington, but Mitt Romney coming to the U.S. Senate is a big deal.

John McCain's death created a vacuum in the Republican Party. The late senator from Arizona was unique in the GOP, but some honest and uninhibited voices…


November 18, 2018

Let’s not bemoan our students’ poor reading skills. Let’s do something about the problem. Why? Because no skill is more essential to academic growth, critical thinking and citizen responsibility than reading. What can we do?

First, don’t fall for the “But I don’t…

November 18, 2018

I used to think my generation was born in a time of change, when there are protests and people actually listen. Every time I check the news there seems to be a new movement and a new group of people making their voices heard.

I applaud these people as they are not silenced, but I feel like those my…


November 18, 2018

Who will succeed Margaret Spellings as president of the UNC System?

That is what folks in the university community are asking these days. The next question is, can anybody be persuaded to take that position after how the system’s board of governors has treated the last two presidents, Tom…

307 stories in Op Ed. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 31
        Next Page»   Last Page»