To the Editor,
‘Stef’ in “Goonies”, the 1985 film, upon discovering pennies at the bottom of a wishing well, reprimanded fellow Goonie ‘Mouth’ as he scooped coins into his pockets. “… These are somebody else’s wishes. They’re somebody else’s dreams.”
Our dreams are large and small in the public schools. Some days we wish for more hours in the day, others we wish for new buildings with no mobile units and multi-purpose rooms that allow for PE to be indoors in the winter.
North Carolina’s educators are an amazing group. They hale from all over the world, bringing with them perspective and knowledge, both local and global. They are industrious and creative, both on the job and in their private lives.
Some examples: David Vernon, an Ag teacher cum farmer/business man owns Century Farms Orchards. There he nurtures and sells rescued heirloom apple scions that have historically thrived in our state’s climate. There are countless others: Music teachers who lead church music programs and sing in chorale groups in their off time; teachers and maintenance staff who are preachers, leaders of Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, and Little League coaches. All educators. But these hard-working citizens, my neighbors and my friends, are being maligned, attacked by North Carolina’s politicians as lazy, incompetent underworked and overpaid.
On June 15, North Carolina’s teacher will rally in Raleigh in support of the Penny Tax. I’m giving all the pennies I can find in my purse to North Carolina. Altogether they won’t buy a pint of milk in the cafeteria. I don’t need them. The small handful I contribute won’t buy me anything of worth but combined with other pennies from my fellow North Carolinians they will make wishes come true and buy a bright, progressive future.