Public vs. Private: The hypocrisy of Berger and Johnson on teacher rallies

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Do like I say, not like I do:

State Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson have been voicing opposition to the big teacher-led education rally that’s taking shape next Wednesday in Raleigh. Berger attacked the one-day event and even likened it to a teacher strike, which he proceeded to describe in a thinly veiled threat as “illegal.” Johnson also criticized the rally because it is on a school day and said he would not attend.

Funny that neither Berger nor Johnson raised such concerns earlier this year when conservative school choice advocates – including teachers, parents and students – held a rally in Raleigh on, Tuesday, January 23 – a school day. At that time, Johnson thought it appropriate not just to endorse the event, but to attend and serve as a featured speaker.

We all know that Berger only cares about a tiny portion of the state's citizens, and an even smaller fraction of his own District constituents. But Mark Johnson is working diligently for an even smaller segment of the population, those who operate for-profit education factories:

Private school enrollment has only gone up by 4,356 students since the 2010-11 school year. But the voucher program, which will provide $44.8 million in state funding for the upcoming fiscal year, helped end years of declining enrollment in private schools.

Dominique Lyn said she wouldn’t have been able to enroll her 6-year-old son at Southpoint Academy, a private school in Durham, without the $4,200 provided by the state’s Opportunity Scholarship Program.

“I’m not going to sleep worrying if my child is getting the educational options he needs,” said Lyn, who lives in Cary. “I’m now able to focus on helping him.”

Traditional public schools still educate the majority of students, with their 1.4 million children representing 82.1 percent of the state’s K-12 students. But the market share was at 86.6 percent in the 2010-11 school year.

If that growth rate continues, like Mark Johnson and other bent "private sector" acolytes would like to see, by 2025 NC's public school system will be in shambles.

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Comments

And from the right-wing peanut gallery...

The irony of this nutter talking about waterboarding while Gina Haspel's nomination comes apart at the seams is overwhelming...

Rep Mark Brody is getting a

Rep Mark Brody is getting a lot of comments on his Facebook page for this post. He calls teachers 'thugs,' who 'inconvenience' parents by going to protest in Raleigh. He does not mention how much parents have been 'inconvenienced' by GOP attempts to put public education dollars into private pockets through vouchers and funding cuts.

Unfortunately, this GOP-controlled legislature won't make changes unless they, themselves, are 'inconvenienced.' And if that takes 15,000 people wearing red roaming the halls of the legislative buildings, so be it.

The 'right time' to protest is now.

Mark Brody
1 hr
Union County teachers choose to inconvenience near 30,000 parents in order to pressure the General Assembly to increase their pay!

The hypocrisy is that they say they are supporting the students. One less day of instruction does not help students. Teaching our children that it is OK to not show up for work does not set a good example. And, if you can make the assumption that teachers have achieved a level of education where they can make well thought out decisions, why is it that they cannot figure out that in about 3 weeks the school year will be over and the legislature will still be in session? Strange but, unfortunately, they cannot make a simple connection - protest without inconveniencing anyone. ( Inconveniencing people is a main tactic of the Labor Union movement)
Let's call this what it is, Teacher Union thugs want to control the education process! I am speaking up because I don't want Union County schools, and for that matter all NC school systems, to turn into Chicago. Let the Union thugs get their way now and we are half way there.

I will end this by saying I strongly support those teachers who do the right thing, in the right way and at the right time. Your biggest legislative support comes from the Republican State legislature. Your greatest enemy for the causes you strive for is the Teacher Union, your incompetent and/or spineless local administrations and, the biggest problem of them all, the NC Department of Public Instruction.

The Democrats, over decades of self serving administrations, have built walls around these groups to insulate them from Republican legislatures who want to actually do the things that will make education teacher friendly and student effective.

A heartfelt THANK YOU to all those teachers who continue to fight for the cause of quality education, who proudly display a role model example that shows our children there is a right way to do and accomplish things, will stand up to the bullies and self serving thugs of the Teachers Union and believe in showing up for work.

Remember, Chicago is just a Democrat controlled legislature away.

Mark Brody
State House of Representatives, Union and Anson Counties.

Some of the responses are below, but I have removed the names of posters.

This is the same guy who told me I must not feel “called” to be a teacher and I should quit, because I was concerned about my salary being frozen for the 5th straight year. Oh! That was also the same year I was Teacher of the Year for my school.

A former teacher I know had to quit to become a dog trainer in order to make enough money to live on. Let that sink in: she makes more money training dogs than she did teaching human children in North Carolina.

Bless your heart Mark Brody. If you really cared about students missing “valuable instruction” you would fully fund reduced class sizes across all grades. Pay for new textbooks published in this CENTURY. Pay for adequate teacher assistants, psychologists, and support staff.
You would throw your support BEHIND your educators instead of throwing your weight around in front of them.

It inconvenienced me when as a parent and a teacher, I had to work two jobs to make ends meet! And it inconveniences me when I stay after school to meet with parents who don’t show up and I don’t get paid for staying but I stay and wait because that’s what teachers do! It inconveniences me when parents don’t send supplies in so I buy them supplies with my money so they have what they need- because that’s what teachers do! It in inconveniences me when I have to buy my own ink for my school printer because the school has no extra money to buy it- but that’s what teachers do! And the list could go on... so don’t whine to us about what you think is inconvenient! You don’t even begin to know!

Thank you so much for your comments. You just made my next voting process so much easier.

I'm sorry but as a Civics teacher, all I've done this year is profess to my students the importance of citizens actively participating in our society otherwise our democracy is worthless. What good is my word to them if I preach to speak out in our political system and then sit on the sidelines and not fight for them?

I am shocked and appalled by Mark Brody's comments. Come visit my 3rd block with 37 students for English III. You owe every teacher in Union County an apology.

I really hope you enjoy the rest of your last term in office!!!

Put him at the top

of today's news brief, although I'm not sure how much good it will do. Union County is (apparently) blood-red, and if it's anywhere near as bad as Larry Pittman's district, dislodging Brody will be a monumental task.

But getting teachers pissed off at him is a good start.