The Johnston County Republican Party has released a statement saying they support county school teachers but politics should be kept out of the classroom.
Republican Party Chairman Darryl Mitchell released a statement to WTSB News after being asked about hundreds of Johnston County School teachers taking a leave of absence this Wednesday, May 16th to attend a teacher rally at the NC General Assembly in Raleigh.
The GOP statement says:
Johnston County Republican Party strongly supports teachers, and believes their concerns should be heard; however, the timing of the May 16thrally is suspect, because it penalizes students and families, when the rally could be held just a few weeks later, when the instructional year is over.
Such rallies have been sponsored by the NEA across the country for a broader political agenda–to stir up opposition to Republican leadership in an important election year, in an attempt to win back Democrat majorities.
The facts are that Democrats did nothing to address teacher pay for a decade; but once Republicans took the majority, teachers began seeing annual average increases, totaling over 17% since 2015. The General Assembly already has passed the 2019 budget, which includes another average increase of 6.1%, and Education spending is over 57% of our state budget. While there may be more to be done, the facts prove that our legislators have been responsive to the needs of educators, while other state employees wait to see such pay increases.
We respect the right of teachers to protest, and appreciate those who have chosen not to do so, instead committing to prepare students for upcoming exams. There is a time and place to be heard. May 16thjust does not seem like the most appropriate choice, shutting down schools in the middle of exams.
Last week, Johnston County Board of Education Chairman Mike Wooten issued a statement saying, “The Johnston County Board of Education supports its teachers, knowing that the work they perform is lasting and cannot afford to be marginalized. For the record, the JCPS Board of Education is committed to its teachers, respects the work that builds and strengthens our future, and will continue to support that which advances teaching and learning in Johnston County, this state, nation, and world. Our teachers’ voice is important and valuable to us.”
Over the next several days, Johnston County Schools will notify students of rescheduled tests, make up dates for special events, field trips, and other activities that had been planned for May 16th.