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Mon April 24, 2006
Primary Candidate Answer Questions about Education
By Catherine M. Welch
Wilmington, NC – Martin Herring and incumbent Russell Tucker are the democratic candidates looking to challenge republican candidate Richard Kaiser.
Herring studied political science at Fayetteville State and is the father of a son. When asked what needs to be done to bring more qualified teachers to North Carolina schools, he says the state needs to offer competitive employment packages.
"If teachers aren't breaking the doors down to get here then of course we have to take a look at just exactly what kind of package we are offering and what we can do to the package it to make it more stimulating more of an incentive."
Incumbent Russell Tucker worked for Duplin County for 28 years and is in his 3rd term as state legislator. He says the formula is simple.
To attract more teachers we need to raise the pay, to keep good teachers we need to raise the pay, we started doing that again this past term and the plans are to keep raising the pay until we get a decent salary.
The 4th House district includes Duplin and Onslow counties.
Over in the House 18th District, Laura Padget and incumbent Thomas Wright are the democratic candidates looking to challenge republican candidate Shelia Roberts for the House seat in the 18th district.
When asked what needs to be done to bring more qualified teacher to North Carolina schools says the first thing to do is give them raises.
I think there are some other incentives that can be provided to teachers and I think we need to work with the university system to produce more teachers.
Incumbent Thomas Wright says attracting and keeping teachers is an issue lawmakers have been wrestling with.
As far as retention goes we need to find better incentives to give our teachers a reason to want to stay in the profession. We're losing far too many young people coming into the profession.
The 18th House District includes New Hanover and Pender counties.
Shirley Babson and Bill Fairley are the republican primary candidates hoping to challenge incumbent democrat R.C. Soles Jr. for the Senate seat in the 8th district.
Babson is a mother of three grown children who has served on the Brunswick County School Board for 14 years.
When asked what needs to be done to bring more qualified teacher to North Carolina schools, Babson says the first thing that needs to be done is to give teachers a raise.
"I think we have to put more emphasis, especially with teachers who teach science and math, because there's a great shortage of those. And they can make so much more money in private industry until we keep losing our good ones."
The other candidate Bill Fairley is a retired attorney with four grown children.
He says while good pay is key in attracting good teachers, he thinks there are factors inside the school that would keep them on the job.
I am confident that classroom environment, specifically classroom size and those kinds of things, is also significant factor in getting and keeping teachers, well qualified teachers, in North Carolina schools.
The 8th Senate district includes Brunswick, Columbus and Pender counties.