About those teacher raises

Insiders in North Carolina are all atwitter today with news that teachers may be getting an 11% pay raise, without having to give up tenure. So desperate for anything resembling good news, the teacher-pay plan is being heralded as a breakthrough. But where do you think the money is coming from to provide the pay raises? Larger class sizes, the wholesale elimination of teaching assistants, and (you guessed it) magical lottery money. Plus, Senate leader Jerry Tillman is promising that teacher tenure will be eliminated in 2018.

Republicans in the General Assembly are scared to death of public backlash against their war on teachers. They're hoping this Trojan Horse of a teacher-pay plan will get them off of the hook this year, at least. They're probably right. North Carolina's weary voters, incredibly, will give Republicans all the credit in the world for doing the right thing, even if that right thing comes with toxic strings.

This is why I consistently oppose progressive lobbying efforts that try to make Republican policies more palatable and less offensive. We may win short term concessions, but we lose the bigger war.