The NC teacher licensing overhaul plan is a slap in the face

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OPINION AND COMMENTARY

Opinion’s editorials and other content offer perspectives on issues important to our community and are independent of the work of our newsroom reporters.

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For years, NC educators have marched on the Capitol in Raleigh calling for changes in public school funding. Now state education leaders want school districts to participate in a pilot program that would review teacher licenses and pay teachers based on their performance rather than years of experience.

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Teacher’s pay

Regarding “NC Board of Education Wants Teacher Pay Pilot” (December 2):

At a time when teachers are leaving the profession in droves due to overwork, underpayment, feelings of underappreciation and burnout, the introduction of a pilot program that rewards high scores on state exams is another slap in the face, but also fraught with pitfalls.

Who would want to work in an underperforming school or a school with struggling students? Some disciplines, such as electives, do not have state control.

Today, classes can have 35 to 50 students. The stress and workload is huge.

Having worked in the profession for 30 years, I know firsthand that teachers are, for the most part, selfless and dedicated people who work wonders every day and meet not only the educational needs of the child, but also the emotional and social needs – they are counselors, psychologists, cheerleaders , coaches and teachers.

They deserve our validation, respect and professional pay.

Melanie Walker, Raleigh

NC birds

Reporting in v A series about a large poultry house from the Charlotte Observer and the News & Observer found serious flaws in the system, and it’s been going on for far too long.

Even in South Carolina, large poultry farms must have permits and be inspected—and locations are not kept secret like in North Carolina.

We know that these facilities generate waste and pollutants that enter the air and drinking water sources and harm the health of North Carolinians. So why are these big companies allowed to operate like the Wild West?

It’s time for our elected officials to take common sense steps to keep our communities clean and safe.

Ann Winstead, Raleigh

Moore County

I was excited to see Moore County, Duke Energy and the state offer a cash reward for information about the individuals who attacked the substation. There must be citizens who have valuable information that will lead to the culprits. Money decides everything. It is worth it to find those who have caused so much harm, so much destruction and pain to the people of Moore County.

Marianna Freiburger, Cornelius

Mental health care

The December 1 article News of the poor treatment of children with mental health conditions brought back bitter memories of trying to get treatment for my grandson.

As I sat in the Bryn Mar waiting room for a frustrating session with the social worker, I saw the pain and shock on the faces of other families.

All the treatment center offered us was a respite from the stress of caring for a child who was a danger to himself and his family. Families are at the mercy of a wasteful care system.

By 2000, North Carolina had a network of local and state mental health centers. The current policy of treating mental health care as a commodity to be held at arm’s length and managed by for-profit organizations outside the state is a travesty.

We are overpaying for a worthless product for our vulnerable citizens. We are wasting tax dollars and preventing a class of citizens from being active and productive members of society.

Celia Dickerson, Durham

Defense bill

So what Republicans added a clause in the national defense bill, which would eliminate the requirement for military personnel to receive vaccinations against COVID. It’s like sending them into battle without bullets. Military personnel camp, train, work and fight in close quarters. In some of our wars disease has killed more soldiers than bullets. The legislators who made this happen should be ashamed of themselves.

Robert D. Brown, Cary

The remaining principles

Former CIA Director John Brennan recently called Republicans in Congress who support former President Donald Trump as “moral cowards.” This description is not wrong, but it is a little off. Cowardice is inherently passive, while these individuals actively choose to abandon their principles in order to retain the power and privilege of their elected offices. So they are all to some degree guilty of everything Trump is guilty of.

When it ends—and may it happen soon—what will the world learn about America? And what do we learn about ourselves?

John C. Dandy, Durham

Telehealth

Patients seeking treatment for eating disorders often say that virtual care is fundamental to the quality of their care and treatment for their condition, and is indispensable to eating disorder treatment and the future of healthcare. Unfortunately, the pandemic flexibility of telehealth that has expanded access to care, helped reduce costs, and expanded equitable access to care is under threat.

As a member of the US House of Representatives, a senator-elect Ted Budd (R-NC), voted to expand telehealth flexibility, saying “all North Carolinians should have access to the full range of telemedicine resources available using advanced technology.” This legislation was passed by the US House of Representatives with near-unanimous bipartisan support.

Now, Congress must finish the job and enact critical telemedicine protections in a year-end bill. Patients and families living with eating disorders rely on it.

Chase Bannister, Durham

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The NC teacher licensing overhaul plan is a slap in the face

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