Republican attack on public schools

Eddie Goodall wants state to adverti$e for more charter school applicants

Think of how many more incompetent educators might try their hand if they only knew:

We already spend $20 million annually for lottery advertising, and senators want to spend $10 million more. We spend zero for charter schools. Advertising how to start charter schools in North Carolina offers a greater return on our taxpayer money than lottery advertising.

Better idea. Take $1 million of the lottery ad money and tell families and businesses about how to start a charter school. One primary reason we have dwindling charter applications (71 in 2014 and 40 this year) is that residents are unaware that it is indeed they and partnering neighbors or colleagues who apply to start the schools of choice.

No, the primary reason we have dwindling charter applications is that proponents are realizing it's not nearly as easy as people like you have been telling them. Somewhere around 1/3 of new charter schools close their doors within the first year, many of those never able to hold their first class. And poor financial planning is the major cause:

When op-eds go horribly wrong

Campbell professor goes off on a poorly-researched tangent:

Governments own and run most of our schools and therefore do not operate in competitive environments similar to those that brought us, among many other things, vast improvements in technology and telecommunications, higher quality foods at lower prices, bigger and cheaper HDTVs, and ever-cheaper means of transportation.

We run our schools much like the socialist-run factories of the last century: a top-down command and control system with a one-size-fits-all mentality.

Like most free-market fundies, Steckbeck feels the need to serve his tripe with a dash of fear-inducing "Socialism!" Maybe hoping to hide the fact he's just peddling an opinion, and not something that stands up under close scrutiny. HDTV was invented by Korean Woo Paik (product of public schools), and developed/introduced by Japan's public television network. And then a consortium of US-based electronics companies pooled their resources and developed standards which would (among other things) allow them to monopolize the technology and keep pesky entrepreneurs from joining the fun. I'm not through with him yet:

Oregon millionaire behind NC's public school takeover scheme

Everything is for sale, if you fill out the check properly:

John Bryan has underwritten the creation of ten charter schools across North Carolina, and now thanks to his political efforts he’s also behind a secret plan modeled after similar controversial initiatives in Tennessee, New Orleans and elsewhere to allow charter operators to fire an entire school’s staff and start from scratch in an attempt to catapult a public school into the top 25 percent of the state.

According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, since 2010 John Bryan has given well over $100,000 to candidates who have a record of pushing school privatization efforts, including House Speaker Tim Moore, Rep. Jason Saine, former Guilford Rep. Marcus Brandon, Rep. Paul Stam, and Sen. Ralph Hise.

It brings the term "sellout" to a whole new level, doesn't it? Remember this: The state (for the most part) doesn't fund the construction of public schools, the counties do. In effect, this legislation has all the earmarks of Conservatives' supposed great nemesis "Eminent Domain," but in reverse. They're handing over something local taxpayers built and giving it to an out-of-state political crony. And they're handing over our children, too, which is even more outrageous, if that's possible. These bills shouldn't even be parked in committee, much less brought to the floor for a vote. They should be ceremoniously burned.

Perennial failed candidate chimes in on voucher decision

Big surprise, Richard Vinroot supports privatizing public education:

Even after losing, the plaintiffs continue to insist that allowing students choices in addition to traditional public schools somehow violates the State Constitution’s requirement that there must be, at minimum, a “general and uniform system of public schools.” However, our courts have long held that the legislature can establish other school programs in addition to---

I'm gonna stop you right there. The courts have *not* held that, and the Constitution is *not* ambiguous:

GOP wrecking ball swings at teachers, again

Why should we care about your health after you've retired?

In a meeting Wednesday where House lawmakers discussed key differences between the two chambers’ 2015-17 budget proposals, Rep. Gary Pendleton (R-Raleigh) said he was all for eliminating retiree medical benefits for future teachers and state employees.

“That’s something that should have been done a long time ago,” said Pendleton after legislative staff outlined the differences between salaries and benefits in the House and Senate budgets.

Pardon my French, but va te faire foutre, you miserable excuse for a human being. Is that what they get for dedicating their life to nurturing and painstakingly preparing our children to go out in the world and succeed? A self-righteous brush-off by an investment manager who panders to wealthy, multi-generational families trying to dodge taxes? Well aren't we just lucky as hell to have you.

Chief Justice Martin's avoidance of the term "exclusively"

If parts of the Constitution don't fit your argument, just forget they exist:

Entitled "State school fund," Article IX, Section 6 provides:
The proceeds of all lands that have been or hereafter may be granted by the United States to this State, and not otherwise appropriated by this State or the United States; all moneys, stocks, bonds, and other property belonging to the State for purposes of public education; the net proceeds of all sales of the swamp lands belonging to the State; and all other grants, gifts, and devises that have been or hereafter may be made to the State, and not otherwise appropriated by the State or by the terms of the grant, gift, or devise, shall be paid into the State Treasury and, together with so much of the revenue of the State as may be set apart for that purpose, shall be faithfully appropriated and used exclusively for establishing and maintaining a uniform system of free public schools."

Bolding mine, in the hopes Mark Martin's attempt to erase the word won't stick. See if you can find that word in the numerous references he makes defending this decidedly un-constitutional siphoning off of public school resources:

"Judge" Junior Berger already in ethical quagmire

Failed charter school leader to preside over charter school case:

PACE Academy will fight for its future Tuesday, July 7 when the public charter school goes before an administrative law judge to contest a state panel’s recommendation that it be closed permanently.

Attorney Philip Adkins, who represents the school, said the case will be heard in Raleigh by Administrative Law Judge Phil Berger Jr., who is with the state Office of Administrative Hearings and is the son of State Senate leader Phil Berger Sr. “We think we might and hope to get a favorable decision,” said Adkins, noting that three days have been set aside for the hearing.

We've been accused from time to time of being too harsh in criticizing news outlets for their coverage, and sometimes we do go a little overboard. But there's not one word in this article about Phil Berger Jr. helping to create a charter school, only to watch it fail before it could get off the ground:

GOP strips retirement health care from future teachers, other state government workers

Because 30 to 40 years of service means nothing to Republicans:

A few short lines in the 2015-17 Senate budget would eliminate state-paid health retirement benefits for teachers and state employees hired after January 1, 2016.

“This will negatively impact the state’s ability to recruit good, qualified folks,” said Richard Rogers, executive director of the North Carolina Retired Governmental Employees’ Association. “In the future, I don’t see folks sticking with state government for the long term or for a career.

They don't want "good, qualified folks," working for the people, because that would make it harder to tear down government agencies and institutions. Better to fill the ranks with mediocre, unqualified folks, because it will condition the populace to not be dependent on a functioning public service machine, and make it much less controversial when that machine is finally switched off for good.

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