Five days after signing the right to discriminate against the LGBT community into law via HB2, North Carolina Governor, Pat McCrory, deflected outcry from the business community by promising a one percent reduction in corporate income tax, to be established retroactively from January first, 2016 onward. According to the governor’s website, the 2013 tax reform plan allows for this due to a $445 million dollar surplus for the 2016 fiscal year. The resulting tax rate would sit at four percent, making it the lowest in the U.S.
Sadly, most of this surplus was bolstered on the backs of the state’s public school teachers. While his cabinet has made a very public attempt to recruit new teachers by raising a first year teacher’s salary to thirty-five thousand dollars, up from a scant thirty thousand, McCrory has done little to retain veteran teachers. What his administration won’t publicly announce is that a new teacher will receive that same rate of pay, according to the state’s salary schedule, for the next four years. Subsequent raises come at an average of every four years, some at five. While you’re waiting half a decade for a pay raise, perhaps pursuing a M.A. Ed. to make yourself more valuable to the school system would help offset the rising cost of consumer goods? Nope. The only reward a M.A Ed. will garner you, as a teacher in North Carolina, is student loan debt, which you’ll have to pay with an already stagnant salary. That’s right, in 2013 McCrory’s administration made the insulting play to remove the pay bump teachers receive for advanced degrees.
According to WalletHub.com, North Carolina is ranked next to last, as the worst state in which to teach, right above West Virginia. The disconnect between the state’s K-12 system and the rigors of the UNC system are unfathomable. How can a state with such poorly funded public schools expect to fill its colleges? Even when qualified students make it into the UNC system, what incentive would there be to nudge a freshman toward a career in education, especially if the student is LGBT? Not only can a newly minted teacher expect little pay, she can expect to be subjected to draconian laws that could have her dismissed simply for marrying someone of the same sex.
Corporations tempted by a four percent tax burden need to consider the consequences of doing business with the likes of McCrory. That rate won’t matter if the income of a company plummets, as a result of an ongoing nationwide backlash against the bigoted agenda of North Carolina’s Republican party.
Featured image courtesy of YouTube.com