Should North Carolina taxpayers fund professional development programs for accountants , doctors, plumbers or electricians? I’m sure my question prompts a roll of the eyes and a matter of fact, “no”.
Then, I wonder why taxpayers continue to foot the bill for various teacher development and recruitment programs like the NC Teacher Academy ($4.7 million); Teaching Fellows ($12.7 million; Teacher Cadet ($340,000) and the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching ($6.1 million).
Eliminating or phasing out these programs is one of the options under consideration by the joint House-Senate education budget subcommittee. Doing so would produce $23.8 million in savings. That’s the equivalent of about 433 teacher positions.
Yes, recruitment and professional development for teachers are important goals. However, there is no compelling argument why taxpayers should fund such programs. If such efforts are needed and worthwhile they will find other means to continue and will stand on their own.