"I'm looking for motivation, I'm looking for a new foundation" Break my Soul by Beyoncé
I'm taking a break from tips to help your kids today to share some information on teachers in North Carolina.
North Carolina is a tough place to teach. NC teachers have very few workers rights, and this is the main reason why I left teaching. NC teachers are not guaranteed lunch breaks, have to pay $50 to take a personal day without providing a reason, and are not compensated for longevity or higher degrees. They are not allowed to unionize and can be fired for striking.
And until recently, they did not have any plan for paid maternity leave. To get paid, teachers had to use their own sick days. If you didn't have a cache of sick days, then you went unpaid. In a workforce that's 71% female, it's disgusting to see maternity leave is treated like a personal problem.
...But seemingly out of nowhere- we got a win! As of July 1 "Parents who give birth will receive eight weeks paid leave. Non-birthing parents, including foster and adoptive parents, will receive 4 weeks paid leave." I couldn't believe it- I didn't even know there was a bill up for paid maternity leave!
*Pause to celebrate*
...There was not a bill proposed for paid maternity leave. Here's how this policy came to be...
This policy came from a restrictive abortion bill that was passed earlier this summer.
After it was passed, the board of education was confused if it applied to teachers, because they were specifically excluded from a 2019 executive order that gave other state employees paid maternity leave. But after some back and forth, it was decided teachers should be able to get maternity leave too. As I paged through news articles to prepare this, there was an overall sour tone commenting on how much money this would cost the state.
Unfortunately this bill is incredibly unstable. Abortion law is volatile and constantly changing. This "win" for teachers is not attached to any appreciation for their own rights or needs. I'm sure countless more abortion bills will be submitted that are not thinking about a teacher's right to maternity leave. In a state where teachers are begging for a few minutes to go to the bathroom, I just don't trust this will be around for long- especially with assembly members grumbling about how expensive it is.
I'm left feeling sick and confused. Teachers don't want their wins like this. They want someone that will champion them and see how important they are.
*The links in the first paragraph cite bills trying to fix these issues: none of them have been passed.
What's New? (contains affiliate links)
🎥 Video: On Sunday I released one of two long form videos I'll share in August. It's called 3 Things Parents DON'T Need To Do Before The School Year Starts. I hope you watch it!
👵👴 For the Grandparents: I want to introduce my friend to you- she makes excellent content for grandparents! DeeDee Moore founded More Than Grand as a way to share inspiration and resources for grandparents who understand the importance of their new role. DeeDee covers topics that matter to grandparents—and parents—such as concrete ways to help new parents, understanding new trends in child care, and meaningful ways to connect with your grandchildren. Visit MoreThanGrand.com or look for @morethangrand on your favorite social media.
📖 Good Read: I just finished reading Things We Do in the Dark and it was a page turner! It's written as a mystery within a mystery and kept me guessing the whole way.
🤳 Best Screen Protector: I just put in my 3rd order for this screen protector I drop my phone constantly and this screen protector always works. I replace it about once a year and have become loyal to this brand.
🖊️ Gift for Teacher: These chart paper markers are 62% off right now ($5.99 are you kidding me??). I LOVE these markers- they write smoothly and look great on posters. They are expensive and hard to find in stores, so if you want to treat a teacher, I guarantee you they will love them.
Long read today- thanks for being here!
✌️ Be good to each other,