A three-judge panel has unanimously ruled that North Carolina’s legislative maps are unconstitutionally gerrymandered. Our Republican-led state legislature has been ordered to draw new maps by September 18th. The last time Republicans were tasked with redrawing their unconstitutional maps it was done behind closed doors and still took away the voices of the people. We must demand that the process be transparent with as much public input as possible. No more maps drawn behind closed doors in the dark.
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.
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