Welcome to NC Voices, where leaders, readers and experts from across North Carolina can speak about issues affecting our communities. Send submissions of 300 words or less to [email protected]
NC teachers deserve better
The writer is president emeritus of the State Board of Education.
Regarding our take on “An Insulting Talk from a Think Tank to Teachers in North Carolina” (Editorial October 1):
This editorial misses the mark on several points regarding the North Carolina Association of Educators.
The NCAE no longer represents the majority of teachers in our state and has not been for many years.
The reason? The NCAE has little influence in the Republican-led NC General Assembly because of its historic ties to the Democratic Party.
The editorial said NC teacher compensation ranks 33rd in the country, but did not point out that when Pat McCrory became governor, we ranked 47th in 2013. Three years ago, we have reached the 29th position. However, Governor Roy Cooper’s veto on the state budget in 2019 pushed us back to 33rd place.
Our teacher pay system is outdated and unrelated to student achievement. I hasten to add that we are not paying great teachers what they deserve, but the trend was in the right direction. Hopefully we will see significant increases this year.
When Republicans took control of the North Carolina legislature, pay for directors ranked last in our region and near last in the country. Due to historic and well-earned increases from 2015-16 to 2019-20, averaging $ 20,000 per year, the average principal’s salary in North Carolina has risen from the bottom to the top 5 estimated among southern states. -East.
When I was elected to the North Carolina Senate as a 25 year old Senator in 1970, the partisan NCAE did not interview or approve me because I was running under the wrong party label that would suit their taste . Nothing has changed except the teachers who abandon the partisan ships. Teachers deserve better.
Phil Kirk, Raleigh
Do this to reduce colon cancer in NC
The author is the founder of Brooks Bell, Inc. and serves on the boards of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance and the CDC Foundation.
The CN budget has the potential to save hundreds of lives from colon cancer. To do this, it must include one important thing: the expansion of Medicaid.
If expanded, thousands of North Carolinians who do not have access to colonoscopies will benefit from the lifesaving procedure, which helps diagnose and prevent cancer.
I learned this firsthand when I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer at the age of 38. Having private insurance and access to good health care helped me get a colonoscopy in a timely manner. Catching my cancer before it spreads probably saved my life.
Unfortunately, North Carolina now has a “hot spot” for colon cancer. Several predominantly northeastern counties, including Caswell, Halifax, Bertie and Washington, have colon cancer deaths up to twice as high as the rest of the country.
Colon cancer is important because it is not a rare disease. It is the third most common cancer in men and women. More people die from it each year than breast or prostate cancer. But what makes it unique is that it is one of the few cancers that is truly preventable. This is because we know what causes it: polyps. Today, one in three people has at least one polyp by their 45th birthday.
People with private insurance are 2.5 times more likely to be screened for colon cancer than uninsured people. Drs. Stephanie Wheeler, Dan Reuland, and Seth Crockett of the UNC Gillings School of Public Health have spent years researching the best ways to increase colon cancer screening rates in North Carolina. They say one of the best interventions is to expand Medicaid.
It is planned to increase screening across the state by 0.3%, which translates to 200 NC lives saved. It will also save the state $ 30 million in colon cancer treatment costs over three decades.
North Carolina is one of the 12 states that have not extended Medicaid. Now is the time to access the health care support that should have been available to everyone since the Affordable Care Act was passed.
Dr Otis Brawley, Former Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society, said: “If you are uninsured and diagnosed with cancer, you are 60% more likely to die from cancer. only if you were insured.
If I hadn’t had the means to have a colonoscopy when I did, I might not have been here today to write this. Every North Carolina needs the same opportunities to save their life as I do.
Brooks Bell, Raleigh