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.