With dismay, I read the article by Josh Lanier about last Wednesday’s meeting with parents and teachers, Rep. Craig Horn, Sen. Tommy Tucker and myself.
I was there, that much I know. I told the group the facts: we have less teachers and aides in our county’s schools, many classes are over-crowded, teachers have gone a fourth year with no raise, supplies and accessory items are being bought by teachers, and the list could go on.
But the reason for all this, plus five extra school days with no compensation for teachers and staff, no funds for bus transportation or food service for those days, is the budget we are operating under.
I voted against that budget. Rep. Horn and Sen. Tucker voted for it.
The Republicans in the House and Senate passed a budget that drastically cut funding for K-12 schools, pre-school programs, community colleges and the university system. I did not vote for that budget, Rep. Horn and Sen. Tucker did. The governor vetoed that budget but they overrode her veto.
The Republicans did not prioritize, they did not plan. Children suffer.
I was asked about the 1-cent sales tax that was cut in the current budget. We should have kept it. That one penny costs the average family of four about 23-cents per day. Is it worth 23-cents a day to keep teachers from being laid off?
Is it worth 23-cents a day to provide adequate instruction, texts and supplies?
Is it worth 23-cents a day to adequately compensate our teachers?
I think it is.
I explained all this at the meeting this past Wednesday night.
Have your readers noticed that “big sales tax reduction” they got?
There is a TV spot running saying the Republicans funded 200 additional teachers. That is not true and we know it. Ask any teacher. Ask your children.
Parents should rally to improve school funding in our state, and they can, by keeping the heat on Republicans and voting to replace them in November.
North Carolina used to be a leader in public education. We can be again but only by demanding it from our elected officials.
N.C. House District 69