Your Education Road Map

Politics K-12®

ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states.


NEA Ad Buy Slams Republican in N.C. Senate Race on K-12 Spending

By Lauren Camera — September 05, 2014 2 min read


The National Education Association launched a seven-figure TV ad buy Friday in North Carolina, slamming GOP Senate hopeful Thom Tillis for education spending cuts that occurred under his watch as state House Speaker.

The $1.7 million purchase is the latest in a series of significant investments from Democratic political action committees trying to ensure incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan ekes out a win in the nation’s tightest and most expensive senatorial race—and one that could help decide which party controls the Senate.

The teachers’ union ad features a veteran North Carolina teacher, Vivian Connell, who teaches English and English-as-a-second-language at Chapel Hill High School.

[UPDATE (10:00 AM): A previous version of this story said Connell is a former teacher. In fact, Connell spent 20 years in the classroom before leaving to earn her law degree from University of North Carolina. After graduating, she turned down a Supreme Court clerkship to return to teaching. She is also an advisory board member of Public Schools First, NC, a nonprofit that advocates for access to quality public eduction.]

The 30-second spot will air in 95 percent of the state, according to the NEA, and comes just two days after education issues headlined the first of three debates between Hagan and Tillis.

“Thom Tillis is terrible for education in North Carolina,” Connell begins. “He cut $500 million from our budget. His cuts go so deep that there are no longer enough textbooks to go around.”

“Tillis even voted to increase class sizes so kids don’t get the attention they need,” she continues. “The fact is, Thom Tillis hurts North Carolina students.”

You can watch the entire campaign ad here.

Tillis, for his part, has one education-focused campaign ad running across the state in which he touts a 7 percent pay raise for teachers that was part of a budget deal he helped usher through the state legislature in August.

Both Hagan and Tillis have rejected each other’s claims.

In Tillis’ case, the actual amount of teacher raises will vary considerably depending on how much they were previously earning. While no teacher would make less than he or she did the prior year, actual raises would vary from less than 1 percent, for a 30-year veteran, to more than 18 percent for teachers entering their fifth and sixth years in the classroom.

In Hagan’s case, Tillis didn’t actually preside over a $500 million cut to education spending—lawmakers just didn’t fund education to the extent budget experts said it needed to be funded in order to prevent any decrease in services.

Related Tags:


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read