In reading the proposed state budget, a dichotomy among our legislators’ priorities becomes apparent. According to this proposed budget for 2021-22, teachers may receive as much as a 5.5% increase during the next two years. With the average salary being $49,837 for NC teachers (nc gov), this amounts to roughly $1150 per year. Of course, this may not even be calculated if a teacher has not worked in the system for all the past fifteen years (HB 497). North Carolina teachers remain at the lower end of national teachers’ salaries (nc gov). Meanwhile, the amount of money being proposed in the House budget to fund religious-based, non-public health Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPC) is over $9 million in the next year’s budget (Birdsong, Planned Parenthood). Our state legislators seem to care less about providing quality public education, which is mandated by the results of the Leandro case findings (Public Schools First), than they do about ensuring that women are misled by so called clinics whose goal is ‘to end abortions in America’ (Human Coalition). The value of quality public education seems to have a much lower priority to our legislators than ensuring women are provided biased health care information.
Margie Maddox is a retired University Professor of Nursing and Gerontological Nurse Practitioner. She is acting Raleigh NOW Administrative Officer.