Debra from Winston-Salem, NC

Faces of the Federal Budget

My daughter is a first year school teacher. First grade, in a Title 1, low-income school. …There are the Title 1 [federal] monies that do come into the school, based on their poverty guidelines. And they do get some extra money for the teachers to go and get some different training and all. But, [my daughter ends up paying for classroom supplies out of her own pocket] a lot. And mine too. I’m always looking for sales. I actually went yesterday and bought a bunch of crayons, because there was a sale. [We've spent] probably thousands of dollars fitting her classroom to make it enjoyable for the students to learn, even down to the supplies of pencils and paper. [The students] all don’t come equipped even with the basics. To make it easier on her and better for the kids … takes money.

[My daughter] has a master’s degree and our legislature has decided not to pay [teachers] any extra for having a master’s degree, which was a little bit of extra income. If they don’t want their own teachers to keep on getting educated and to know the best way to teach our children, I really just don’t understand what their motives are. Teachers don’t make anything to start with. They surely don’t go into it for the money. [Legislators] are going to start making [teachers] think longer and harder about staying in, or any of the young people [reconsider] going into that as a career.

[I would pay more taxes to raise teacher salaries.] Especially when you spread it over so many people, even if the tax rate went up, you know 5 cents or something. I guess I can equate it more with property tax rates, locally. It might mean $100 to somebody but yet could make such a difference with all the thousands of people that would be paying that extra $100. I just don’t think [paying an extra] $100 would make that much difference to some people and it would, combined, be a lot of money.

I've always thought teachers were definitely underpaid. … But I've seen a lot more, for sure, how much the teachers have to be spending for their classrooms [since my daughter became a teacher]. I think that really came home more to me in the last couple years. … Oh I know, [the argument is] “they don’t work in the summertime.” But, they’re always having to have extra [training]. To keep their license, they have to keep renewing and learning and improving their skills of how to teach. … Even during the [school] year, they go home and they have to plan for the next day. …We've sat and cut out things, making interesting and different ways for the children to learn. There are just all kinds of ways that they have to use to teach the kids, and yet, again it’s money out of her pocket and they just don’t get credit for it, I guess.

Debra from Winston-Salem, NC | Map

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