Editorial: Magic time is at hand in legislature

May. 13, 2014 @ 11:06 PM

For as long as can be remembered, the scene has not changed.

Teachers in a classroom and students with bright eyes and inquisitive minds have come together. They click. No matter the hurdle, they get together and the pupils always leave having learned something.

The volumes of knowledge vary from student to student. The way the students learn individually differs. Instructional techniques are myriad as well.

But teachers have a gift, one that stems from giving of themselves and sharing with others. For the majority, it is why they become teachers.

Even if they go on to become administrators, we still see the twinkle in their eyes on the days they skip back into a classroom.

Even the ball coaches. They delight in the games and the bright lights that come with them. But give them a practice, a time to teach with young minds and bodies willing to learn, and the magic starts to happen.

When we learned of Gov. Pat McCrory’s plan to help our educational leaders last week, two thoughts arose. Can he work with the legislature against a budget shortfall to make all of his plans possible? And, how will the rhetoric denounce and tear apart his effort?

Both will happen.

The short session opening in Raleigh today, as usual, is centered on fiscal matters. The governor’s plan, in full implementation, is a longshot. While teachers statewide have only had a 1.2 percent pay increase in the last five years, that’s still 1.2 percent more than a number of other workers from Murphy to Manteo. It is also better than workers who no longer work, of which there are many.

Teachers deserving better pay isn’t the debate. They do. So do many others.

Making it happen with responsibility will earn our respect. The governor and legislature made hard choices with unemployment insurance and the state’s debt. We’re improved, but not recovered.

We’ve also experienced sensitive choices on our taxes. The sample of results is small but we’re hopeful.

Boosting pay for all teachers, and giving more to teachers based on merit, satisfies multiple sides. If legislators can satisfy multiple fiscal sides this session, all that will be left is to quell the inherent partisan rhetoric.

And that will be quite the magic show.