Burr must act to save 4,500 North Carolina jobs

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sounded an important alarm this weekend saying:

"I'm desperately concerned about hundreds of teachers being laid off as we head into the fall."

I'm concerned about this too - and urge Senator Burr to take action today. The Senate will vote Monday on an amendment that would provide $300 million to North Carolina that will go to directly saving teacher jobs. All in all, that will amount to 4,500 educators being saved and keeping our schools running for another year.

The funds are completely paid for - offset by cuts that do not add to the deficit.

If they fail to approve this, those educators will lose their jobs and students will face bigger class sizes and big cuts in summer school programs. Failure to approve these funds would be breaking a fundamental promise between the American youth and our government - a promise that a high-quality education is a right, not a privilege. There is no reason for anyone - let alone Senator Burr - to oppose this amendment.

It is 100% paid for, saves jobs, and helps to secure the future of our youth.

Call Burr -- urge him to do the right thing. Here is the switchboard number:

(202) 224-3121

Thank you,



We understand Burr's priorities

and they don't include educating children. Thanks for this good post, Secretary Marshall.

If he does try to block this,

I sure hope our state-level media outlets sit up and take notice.

They'll just yawn

Where's the news? Burr's MO is to block everything ... this is just one more obstructionist move on his part. No one in the media will take notice. Dog bites man. Burr blocks help for teachers. Same same. No story here.

You're probably right,

in which case we'll have the honor of biting Burr ourselves. Would that be "blog bites dog who bit man", or maybe "dog tries to bite man, and blog runs over and squirts dog with water hose"? *sigh*. Mondays...

The ONLY way to change this situation

is to change the actor. Burr is just following the party line and doing everything he can to destroy public education. This way they can turn the job over to their buddies (and pocket the $$$ donated).

Local vs State vs Federal

Aren't our schools and teachers funded by state and local taxes? Isn't that who should be working to save these jobs? It seems like the Democrats that control most of the large cities in NC, they control the NC House and the NC Senate as well as holding the Governor's house.

Why is it Burr's job to use tax money from around the nation to save NC's education system?

Just wondering.

Let's clear up the wrong assumption first

NC cities have little/nothing to do with funding school systems. That's done by county commissioners (in most counties in NC there is only one school system) who draw up the budgets in NC locales.

Now, just as money flows down from the state to the local level for certain mandated programs as you indicate, so does money flow down from the federal to the state level.

As has been widely reported -- and as you know because you comment everywhere -- the state (and many states) passed their budgets for the past two years including money that the feds said they were giving the state to aid them through this unprecedented recession (seemingly nascent depression).

The feds are pulling back on that promise in this second year because deficit hysterics like Burr (the GOP and too many Dems) don't grasp basic macroeconomics. Meaning, when interest rates are already at the zero bound, ya gotta print money and do a few other things to avert a deflationary spiral.

Cities, counties, and states cannot print money. The feds can. But not only will the feds not print money to save jobs (except for the CEOs and financial wizards that sped us into this mess), they won't even spend the money they've already printed (the offset spending mentioned above) to fulfill their promises to the states. That's seriously f@cked up and absurdly shortsighted.

So get on the phone, call Burr, and tell him to pass this now-reduced aid package to the states (the package's cost was reduced again yesterday in the Senate).

Just FYI, we deficit spend (don't offset) for "emergency" war funding supplemental bills like the one passed last week.

Yet we force ourselves to offset for this special teacher aid money, and won't "emergency" spend for unemployment benefits in the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Again, seriously f@cked up.


Yes, let's be clear


What you are saying is the folks in charge at the County and State level didn't do their job and fully fund our educational system and now they are asking for a bailout from Burr and the Federal Government?

Correct me if I'm wrong, couldn't the various county commissioners raise taxes and fund our education system, or cut spending and put that money toward our education system? Couldn't the Democrats in downtown Raleigh also do the same thing?

I'm all for blaming Bush, Burr and Republicans, but in this case it's not the federal government's job to pay for our kids education. Sounds like the phone you should calling is Gov Perdue's, your state reps and your county commissioners.

Make up your mind

A few months ago you had this to say about state and local taxes:

this only mentions income taxes while at the state and local levels sales taxes have been increasing and expanding, property taxes are rising, gas taxes, business taxes, corporate taxes, blah blah blah.

To try and say we aren't taxed enough and use a calculation that looks at ONLY the income tax is beyond silly. Almost silly enough to make me want to go to a T.E.A party just out of spite....almost but not quite.

You don't really want state or local governments to raise taxes to pay for education, you're just using that argument (now) as a handy rhetorical tool.

Are you Breitbarttinig me?

...by taking something out of context. That context, if I recall correctly was that this nation's income taxes are fairly low compared to other countries in the world. I could be wrong, but I seem to recall that's the context of that quote. Other countries rely far more on federal taxes and don't have all the state and local governments that the US of A has.

Of course I don't want taxes raised. Given that average Americans are struggling mightily, the last thing that we should do is raise taxes on them. What I wouldn't mind have happen is our elected officials find spending cuts elsewhere in the budget to fully fund our educational system. The State of NC has a $47 billion budget this up coming FY, are you telling me they can't find room in that to pay for 4,500 teachers? Or that Wake County can't find the money to pay for however many teachers they need?

If the two options were raise state/local taxes to pay for education or have a federal bailout as Secretary Marshall suggests, I'd rather taxes be raised at the state and local level than the feds to give out another bailout. Haven't we had enough bailouts already? The feds aren't our parents to bail us out of failing to plan. Our state and local governments have known about the stimulus money ending and most of them have chosen to ignore the structural deficit that we now face.

No, the context was

about taxes we used to pay vs what we pay now, although your comment (back then) was a little out of context itself, since you didn't address the historical percentages brought up in the original post.

Sorry about leaving out the link, but I have trouble trying to post links + quotes from old BlueNC diaries. Sometimes when I open a second window I get booted for persistent log-ins and such.

Being clear

As you know, that's not at all what I'm saying.

I'm not attempting to blame Bush for this one; I didn't mention him once. To do you one better, I'll even throw in blaming Democrat Erskine Bowles for fueling this deficit hysteria environment.

When the feds tell you they'll send you money for 2 years to help bridge your budget gaps, and you build your budgets for the next 2 years based on that pledge; then the feds pull back on the promise in the second year...yes, it's time to blame the feds.

It's especially time to blame those feds who are mucking up the works as the Senate tries to proceed on this matter as they did yesterday. Burr is part of the crowd mucking up the works on this matter.