NC GOP's misplaced priorities: more money for vouchers, a lot less for pre-k

The anatomy of a hypocrite:

Berger, who also addressed rally participants, said later he believes the "right thing for us to do would be to find the money."

"I look forward to us having the opportunity and the capacity this year for every child who is signed up for the lottery this year having the opportunity to go to the school of their choice," he said at the event. "And so we will work on that."

Tillis is also open to the idea of providing the scholarships to everyone. "This is about giving parents an opportunity to put their child in a setting that helps ensure that they realize their hopes and dreams," Tillis said.

"Find" the money? Oh, you've got the money, which you ripped away from the well-established and highly successful Smart Start Pre-K program:

In addition to deep cuts in K-12 education, the Senate budget appears to cut the Smart Start early education program by 42%.[1]

“Smart Start is the reason that we have safe, high-quality child care in North Carolina. The decision to cut the Smart Start budget nearly in half will result in many counties losing their local partnership and the benefits that come with it,” stated Thompson.

The Senate budget also transfers 5,000 NC Pre-K slots to the Child Care Subsidy program, which will result in fewer children receiving a high-quality pre-kindergarten education. While the child care subsidy program is very important, it doesn’t provide the same level of quality and rigor as NC Pre-K. NC Pre-K classrooms are required to have a low student-to-staff ratio with a maximum class size of 18, and NC Pre-K teachers must meet strict education and licensing requirements and use preapproved curricula.

It doesn't take an Alpine guide to figure out where Republicans are headed in their ideological journey, or how many thousands of children will be left behind in the wake of this migration of dollars. What is unknown, however, is how many disgusted citizens will find their way to the voting booths in November. Our children simply can't afford another two years of this mess.

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It appears the lawsuits

are still in play:

In a one-sentence ruling Wednesday, the N.C. Supreme Court issued a temporary stay against a lower court’s preliminary injunction putting the voucher program on hold for the past three months. Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood had sided with opponents of the program who argued that it should be frozen while the lawsuits are heard.

Hopefully the attorneys for the plaintiffs will incorporate these new comments from Berger and Tillis in their cases. Their intent to expand funding and scope (all students, not just low-income) demonstrates the voucher program is open-ended and not limited like they've been telling us.