RALEIGH - Speaker Thom Tillis today sharpened his "divide and conquer" strategy, this time on the backs of North Carolina public school teachers.
"We're offering an 11% bribe to any teacher who will give up his or her tenure status," said Tillis in a private meeting with a charter school lobbyist. "That means they'll get more money today ... and they'll get fired tomorrow. A teacher would have to be a fool to pass up this sweet deal."
"It makes total sense to me," said the lobbyist. "Everyone knows public education is going down the toilet. No funding, no respect, no nothing. Teachers should take the money and run."
In an internal memo leaked to this reporter by Tillis spokesman Anna Roberts, several alternative plans were revealed, though none survived the legislative review process. Mr. Tillis simply didn't like them, said Roberts, so they never saw the light of day:
- In exchange for a 20% pay raise, teachers would have to cut of their left middle finger, thereby eliminating their ability to salute the General Assembly in the future.
- In exchange for a 12% pay raise, teachers would have to change their voter registration to Republican and take a loyalty oath to vote for Thom Tillis in November. This plan almost survived, but was ultimately rejected because it was deemed to be vote buying.
- In exchange for a 60% pay raise, teachers would be hired and relocated to Houston, Texas, with tenure, and would never again have to deal with the asses in the General Assembly.
Mr. Tillis apparently was torn about the Houston plan. He liked the economics of the deal, but not the optics. He fears a run-off in qualified teachers will hurt his chances in the Senate campaign. Thus the plan was nixed.
Not surprisingly, there is no money in the budget for any of Tillis' plans, they are all simply smoke and mirrors. Tax revenues continue to plummet, teachers continue to abandon ship, and the Republican spin machine continues to manufacture fantasies about the so-called Carolina Comeback.
"I love it when a plan comes together," said Tillis to the lobbyist. "This plan is divide-and-conquer on steroids. New teachers who need to get paid more will suck all the money out of the system, pissing off old teachers who should have been dumped all along. Plus students get screwed, North Carolina families get screwed, and rich guys, like me, get to laugh all the way to the bank."