The coming nightmare in public education

The GOP ploy to pay starter-teachers more than seasoned veterans has triggered outrage in public education, and rightly so. It is an irresponsible and shameless effort to divide and conquer. It also represents the false choice of rewarding the richest North Carolinians at the expense of everyone else.

McCrory's recently announced pay increase (for some teachers) can't fix this. There's simply not enough money in the coffers to properly fund public education.

What are the odds of Republicans reversing course and reinstating a progressive tax code in North Carolina? They are non-existent. No matter how much happy talk we hear, the budget bed has already been made. We're in for a nightmare.

Comments

Prostitution and drugs

I'm predicting the GOP will respond to this budget "challenge" with another sin tax. After all, we're already paying for schools through legalized gambling. Why not supplement those funds with revenues from legalized prostitution and drugs?

Colorado and Washington are seeing enormous budget surpluses from their decriminalization policies. And there's billions to be made from prostitution.

Come on, GOP. Let the markets set you free.

This says it all

This quote from the NC House Democratic Caucus boils this whole issue down

“This Republican plan only offers a pay raise to a select few teachers at a time when ALL teachers in North Carolina deserve a raise. The plan DOES NOT raise teacher pay to the national average, DOES NOT make teacher pay in NC competitive with other states -– like Virginia –- that are luring teachers away and DOES NOT offer a plan that will prepare our students for the modern workforce,”

This says it all.

Yep. It's a bandaid.

It's the promise of a band aid, when the patient has had both legs ripped off.

Painted into a corner

James is quite right that there's not enough money to properly fund education. The tea partiers decided it was more important to give Art Pope a tax cut than to properly fund education and services, and they left half a billion (that's Billion with a 'B') of revenue on the table so that the richest individuals and corporations would not have to pay their fair share of taxes.

All the right-wingers keep saying this is a "good first step" and that they want to give all teachers raises "after they evaluate the revenue picture this spring". They'll keep trying to buy votes, but they've painted themselves into a corner in which there's not enough money to fund the government, and something's got to give, and they're going to have to try to perform one helluva juggling act to try to buy votes and try not to piss off constituencies that will throw them out of office.

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"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis

Painted into a corner? Hardly....

What does any Tea Bagger politician do after defunding an essential government program and offending a big group of voters?

Raise taxes to get the program back on its feet? Nope.

Tax marijuana and prostitution since there's nothing left to tax in the state? Don't be silly ... it would drive away that sweet tasting evangelical nutcase vote.

There's only one solution - privatization!

My money is on the Baggers introducing legislation that would take the lowest performing schools (which happen to be in minority districts) and turn them, lock stock and barrel, over to "more efficient" private companies (which happen to have direct or indirect investments by *ahem* certain legislators, their families or business associates).

Then, when protestors show up outside the legislature, they'll say those communist radical liberals are trying to harm education.

Either that or Art Pope will donate a few thousand bucks to a school district to raise some salaries, put out press releases bragging about his concern for communities and education, and then write it off his taxes as a charitable donation.

True

ALEC tells them to privatize everything and make it for-profit. Clearly that's the plan for education (among many other things).

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"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis

Short-sighted savings

They claim they are fiscal conservatives, but they have no real sense of fiscal responsibility.

No hypocrisy here

NC GOP:

We're fiscal conservatives, except when it comes to wasting taxpayer money on a stupid voter suppression law, defending indefensible unconstitutional laws that we passed, providing generous corporate welfare and going on boondoggles to schmooze with frackers.

We're small-government defenders of liberty, except when it comes to free and fair elections, determining who's allowed to marry whom, who's allowed to get divorced, what a woman is allowed to do with her body and what the duly elected officials of towns and cities are allowed to do in their own towns and cities.

No hypocrisy here. Pay no attention to our actions, just keep sending us back to Raleigh when we tell you we're going there to stop wasteful spending and get government out of our lives.

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"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis

While I appreciate the attention given to the plight

of education and educators in North Carolina, I must say that the nightmare is not "coming". It's here, and I am living it. We had a faculty meeting this past week during which it was stated that our students are not performing well enough on the tests, tests, tests. (which btw have been very different each of the last 3 years and really are totally meaningless) and that it is OUR fault for not properly following plan x, y or z. WE are not teaching correctly.
The State has the money to test us to death but we can't get textbooks or new materials that go with the Common Core curriculum we are doing such a bad job teaching.
What is "coming" is when this nightmare manifests itself in the waking days of the citizens of NC by lack of quality jobs, lack of people willing to teach, next generations functionally illiterate, universities deteriorating and industries relocating away from NC.

Right you are

What is "coming" is when this nightmare manifests itself in the waking days of the citizens of NC by lack of quality jobs, lack of people willing to teach, next generations functionally illiterate, universities deteriorating and industries relocating away from NC.

This is the nightmare I was hinting at, but you nailed it way better than I did.