Republican attack on public schools

Teacher turnover in Guilford County just under 15%

That's one out of every six or seven teachers who are walking away:

Guilford County Schools’ teacher turnover rate, 14.95 percent, is the highest since 2007-08, the first year of the recession. The turnover rate that year, 15.7 percent, is the highest during nearly two decades.

When asked about the reasons why teachers are leaving the classroom, some educators also point to teacher pay and a negative political climate around public education...The average salary for a public school teacher in Virginia is about $15,000 more than in North Carolina. And that’s just with a bachelor’s degree.

This is quite possibly the single biggest threat to the future of our state, and what does the Republican-led General Assembly do? They throw a one-time "bonus" at teachers, knowing they will get a healthy chunk of that money back in taxes, while they (once again) cut income taxes for the wealthiest North Carolinians. Their priorities are clear, regardless of rhetoric and data-twisted graphs, and the smarter the teacher is, the more likely he/she will see through the lies and make the decision to leave. So we're not just losing a percentage, were losing the sharp edge, as well.

Voter survey on education spending

Private schools and for-profit charters are not as popular as the GOP thinks:

• 75% agree public tax dollars should not be used to pay for exclusive private schools
(up from 73% in 2013).

• 73% agree public money should not go to private schools. If parents choose to send their
children to private schools, they should pay for it (up from 68% in 2013).

• 71% agree tax dollars should not go to for-profit companies who run charter schools that are
not accountable to taxpayers for delivering student outcomes in the same way local public
schools are.

This is what happens when elected officials pay attention to a small group of advocates who echo their own prejudices; they strike off on a Crusade that does not have the support of a super-majority of the people they are supposed to represent. It's also one of negative effects of gerrymandering, because their inevitable re-election leads them to falsely believe people actually support what they're doing.

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:


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