Pubilic schools drive county economies in NC

The plans of the far right to destroy public education and utilize those tax dollars as a revenue stream for private businesses will do far more harm to North Carolina than just destroying our schools. It turns out that:

In 64 of North Carolina’s 100 counties .. a local school system is the largest single employer. A local school system is the second-largest employer in 24 other counties ….. In only 12 counties ... is a school system not in the top two…..

A few interesting notes: in counties where the school system is not the top employer, it’s usually due to the military (Craven, Cumberland, Onslow), a large university (Orange, Durham, Watauga, Pitt, Jackson), a prison (Granville, Hyde), or a large-scale hog/chicken processing plant (Duplin, Lenoir, Bladen). Note the absence of manufacturing.

Petition: Tell legislators not to cut class

While members of the General Assembly are preparing for their upcoming holiday vacations—refusing to look at new versions of the budget and make smart decisions that affect our state’s livelihood—many teachers are anxiously awaiting news as to whether or not they will financially be able to continue serving our children in this state. It’s time our legislators learned that we won’t accept them compromising one of North Carolina’s most valuable resources—our teachers—for the sake of political expediency.

North Carolina teacher salaries rank 46th in the nation. It’s time to act! Join me in sending a clear message to our elected leaders. The General Assembly should stay in session until an agreement is made to raise teacher salaries without threatening a teacher’s career status and employment security. We should demand better from those who are supposed to put our state and its people before partisan rhetoric and empty promises.

Vouchers: Unintended consequences won't please the Skipper

Skip Stam, fresh from his anti-gay bigoted rant, must be stewing over the results of his baby: school vouchers.

Skip doesn't care that vouchers siphon money from public schools that already don't have enough resources.

Skip has no problem with the fact that tax dollars will go to religious schools, thus violating the principle of separation of church and state and the NC Constitution.

But the Skipper must have forgotten that there are religions other than his own. The first round of vouchers have just been awarded, and as expected, religious schools lead the pack.

Parents could identify a top school of choice when they applied for the program. The overwhelming majority of those who chose picked religious schools. Most of the 440 schools requested are Christian, but two of the top three are Muslim.

Pat's plutocracy

DAG McCrony tells us yet again that the purpose of education is to churn out drones to do the work that makes Art Pope and his friends richer.

Of course, Pat begins his ignorant missive by repeating the lie he tells repeatedly.

McCrory said that business people told him that they had a hard time filling job openings even when unemployment was high.

As usual, Pat doesn't mention who told him that, and reporters fail to fact check the lie.

Pat then tells us how he intends to please his bosses, Art Pope and ALEC.

Berger has no leg to stand on

Phil Berger isn't just being his usual mean, evil self when cutting teacher assistants. No, he's relying on research!

Senate leader Phil Berger, an Eden Republican, said in an interview that he is relying mainly on research from Tennessee and the United Kingdom that casts doubt on the effectiveness of teacher assistants in helping students learn

First, we must beware when a tea party goon tells us that he is relying on research -- keep in mind that this is the party of climate change denial and a 6,000-year-old earth. Second, when anyone tells you that they're relying on two studies, they're probably cherry-picking data and very often trying to contradict the main body of research.

But it doesn't get much worse than having the author of one of the studies you cite tell the world that you're lying.

Russell Capps pops up again, still wrong

J. Russell Capps was involuntarily retired from the NCGA and also retired from the anti-everything-especially-education Wake County Taxpayers Association.

Just when you thought ol' Russ had ridden quietly off into the sunset, he reappears in public spouting outrageous lies.

“There are a tremendous number of employees – not teachers – that are making well-paid salaries,” Capps said at Monday’s Wake County Board of Commissioners’ budget public hearing. “The information that I got, and I think it’s correct, is that they have 1,776 staff – not teachers but staff – with salaries of $90,000 or above.”

Jerry Tillman's latest assault on public education

Charter schools are public schools, so say their supporters whenever someone says that the charters are robbing public schools of funding.

Charter schools are run by private nonprofit boards that are authorized by the state to receive public education money. They received $304.7 million from the state this year, a number that will grow as more charter schools open in August.

School districts, which have no control over charters, are required to pass along a share of county education money based on the number of students enrolled. Mecklenburg County taxpayers contributed $23 million to charter schools this year.

And so they are, technically. They're just like other public schools, except:

Saddest meeting of all

This is the saddest meeting I have attended. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education met Tuesday, June 2, to discuss the effects the Senate budget and the Governor's budget would have on education. Some of those points are listed below, followed by comments from those involved in education. Unless a remark is in " " please consider it paraphrased. Anything in ( ) is my remark/interjection.

I especially want to share the repeated pleas from those working in our education system. I even heard the phrase, Please don't do this to us. Cuts to education in NC have gone beyond 'bare bones' and into the category of 'mortal wound.' This has to stop. Between budget cuts, position cuts, the expanse of charters and the addition of vouchers, NC's public schools are on their death bed. I hope all of you are planning to attend the next Moral Monday that will focus on education. All of you.

Public Schools.

Teacher raises funded by other education cuts

In their big press conference yesterday, Phil Berger & the Bergerettes loudly proclaimed that they were going to provide the largest teacher pay raise ever in North Carolina's history. When asked how they would pay for it, they less loud.

During a news conference Tuesday, Senate leaders bragged that their spending plan would be the largest pay increase for teachers in the state's history. But they declined to say at the time how they would fund that pay boost without a tax increase.

Today we see why they weren't telling how they plan to fund the teacher raises: they want to slash teacher assistants and slash other education funding to pay for teacher raises.

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