For NC children to succeed, raise teacher pay and make sure more kids are prepared

·3 min read

NC teacher pay

“It takes a whole village to raise a child,” Fouad Abd-El-Khalick said in his April 11 op-ed piece.

As a retired teacher, I wholeheartedly agree. The first thing the village must do is provide an adequate teacher salary.

According to, Charlotte’s average starting salary for a sales professional is $54,000. North Carolina provides $35,000 for beginning teachers with bachelor’s degrees ( No one could possibly be surprised that few college students plan careers in education.

The second thing the village must do is prepare the child to learn. Ideally, the child enters school able to attend to instruction and be respectful of others. Sadly, many students do not meet these minimal criteria.

Unless/until teacher salaries are competitive and children are ready to learn, N.C. students will not reach their potential.

Julia Williams, Denver

Vaccine hesitancy

Each person in the U.S. has the right to choose not to get vaccinated. That does not, however, give them the right to impose their choice on every business or person who made a different choice.

Long before the government banned smoking in public places for public health reasons, businesses were limiting or eliminating it because a growing majority of their clients were seeking places that would insure a healthier environment.

The rapidly growing community, and soon to be majority, of those who have chosen to be vaccinated, should not be forced to put up with the risk and inaction that some have chosen.

David Basri, Van Wyck, S.C.

David Basri
David Basri

Vaccine passports

The world has changed since COVID-19 invaded. Over a half a million deaths here in the United States should be a constant reminder of how dangerous this virus is.

That people are being vaccinated is not the cure-all to this situation. But until this virus is eradicated the U.S. should approve vaccine passports.

With a passport, people can show proof they’ve been vaccinated, which decreases substantially any chance they’ll infect others. Those who refuse to be vaccinated are taking a risk — and putting others at risk. A passport would help establishments know that customers are protected.

Yes, it means being denied access to places if you don’t have a passport, but think of it like boarding a plane — you must show proof of identity.

I would rather be safe than sorry.

Lorraine Stark, Matthews

Lorraine Stark
Lorraine Stark

Airline apology

Regarding “Airline apologizes to cancer survivor from Charlotte,” (April 8):

Thank you American Airlines for rejecting the blurb, “(expletive) Cancer” on cancer survivor Roslyn Singleton’s hoodie. She owes the airline an apology, and while she is at it, maybe she’ll tell the rest of us cancer survivors (I’m stage IV) why she gets to abuse community decency standards all by herself.

Eddie Goodall, Weddington

Eddie Goodall
Eddie Goodall

Defense spending

A Bloomberg Opinion piece reprinted in the April 10 Observer said, “The U.S. spends more on its military than the next 10 countries combined...” Incredible!

Could the world still be safe and the U.S. still have a superior military if we only spend what the next nine (or eight) countries combined spend?

What could we do with the reallocated money? Maybe it could be spent on infrastructure, social services, debt reduction, climate change or your favorite federal budgetary need.

Sure, security is important, but so are many other issues that we face.

Mack Clark, Charlotte

Mitch McConnell

The April 11 Forum writer is right about Sen. Mitch McConnell’s negative intentions, but there are 49 other GOP senators whose governing powers are usurped by him never allowing votes on any positive legislation.

Apparently those 49 GOP senators are content to never have to think about or advocate for what would be best for the country or their own constituents — except those who fund campaigns, of course. The senators choose to abdicate their responsibilities and don’t use their power to overrule McConnell.

Voters in other states who elect those 49 senators also bear responsibility for the gridlock.

Lucille Howard, Charlotte