Teaching supplies "shell game" criticized by education leaders

Robbing from Peter to pay Paul could make matters worse:

After Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson backed a bill Wednesday that would shift money from school districts to give teachers $400 each for classroom supply needs, several State Board of Education members expressed issues Thursday with the bill’s potential consequences for districts.

Both teacher advisors on the board, 2017 Teacher of the Year Lisa Godwin and 2018 Teacher of the Year Freebird McKinney, were vocal Wednesday about their opposition to Senate Bill 580, saying the reallocation of the money would take away resources districts need to buy supplies and equipment in bulk. Thursday, board member Jill Camnitz said she agrees with the advisors’ sentiments.

Not only is Mark Johnson not qualified to be NC's SuperNintendo, he apparently has a damn short memory. Just last Summer, he took money that was supposed to be disbursed to individual teachers and bought a bunch of IPads with it:

State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced Tuesday that his agency will provide a new iPad for roughly every K-3 public school classroom in North Carolina. The iPads are funded by $6 million that was supposed to be directed to teachers in 2016 but went unspent, according to the department.

The department says buying this many iPads in bulk gets taxpayers a better price and avoids requirement to pay sales tax.

Mark Jewell, president of the NC Association of Educators, said school districts know the best way to spend their money for the needs of their students.

“This underscores the need of public schools to have local control over how funding is distributed based on the specific needs of their students, which varies from district to district,” he said.

So what did we learn today, class? When you're the bureaucrat, controlling how the money is spent is a good idea. But when it's someone else, well. They'll probably just squander that money.

Back to the OP, and the whining of our two-year Teach For America washout:

Johnson said he did not appreciate members jumping to negative conclusions and that he still supports giving the funds directly to teachers through the ClassWallet app. He said he is working with legislative leaders during budget negotiations for more district funding.

“I think there’s been a lot of misinformation about this bill put out there. I think $400 for every teacher’s a good thing and that’s why this bill is doing that,” Johnson said. “It is using money that already goes to districts because it is not tied to the budget. While this bill is moving through the House and the Senate, there are also budget negotiations going on which I am a part of.”

"Of which I am a part." Seriously, if you're going to the pains of throwing that "which" in there, do it right, for god's sake.

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