The Herald Sun: We’re getting what we pay for with NC schools, and that’s not good
When adjusted for inflation and enrollment, North Carolina's classrooms are being funded 40% less than they were 10 years ago. Our teachers are not paid at the national average and our school support staff is not making a living wage. It's time that our lawmakers put the needs of our students above tax cuts for large corporations. Our children are our future.
North Carolina’s school children are back in school. Their teachers will teach. The administrators and counselors will manage and advise. The teacher assistants, bus drivers and custodians will do their part. And Republican state lawmakers will do hardly a thing.
Eight years into their starve-the-public-schools program, the state’s legislative leaders can cite no progress in what is arguably their first responsibility: to educate the next generation of North Carolinians.
Oh, they’ve talked about improving public schools. They’ve wagged their fingers at teachers who they see as ungrateful for paltry raises. They instituted a Read to Achieve program that was supposed to have most children reading at grade level by third grade. They’ve branded schools serving low-income areas with “Ds” and “Fs” so the market will magically force them to improve. They’ve offered vouchers to subsidize tuition at schools with no curriculum standards. They’ve lifted the 100-school cap on charter schools, almost doubling their number. They’ve invited virtual charter schools to have children taught by a teacher on a screen.