Education cuts: Our line in the sand

Throughout the history of this country, popular movements have always been fueled by anger at a government that is trying to restrict our rights and strip our pockets. The Republican education agenda does exactly those two things: it restricts North Carolinians' rights to a sound basic education and cut into the pocketbooks of almost everyone who interacts with our educational system.

To me, that's just not ok.

It is hard to summarize the breadth and depth of the changes Republicans have proposed. Their legislation and budget proposals impact every aspect of public education services from early childhood through university study. Suffice it to say, there is almost no proposal that enhances current education services. Pretty much everything is a cut, reduction, or a shift from public provision of education to the private sector.

The Republican agenda strips our population from the right to high quality early childhood education. They cut into our right for children to have manageable class sizes in classrooms from kindergarten through high school. They strip the rights of community college students to access federal financial aid.

While the Republican leadership proposes all of these cuts as budget savings, it's actually hard to see how most North Carolinians will come out ahead.

They'll lay off 15,000 educators. Everyone who works for the public education system will continue to work for no raise, will lose earnings to higher health care premiums, and will no longer be eligible for performance bonuses associated with the state's testing and accountability system.

Thousands will lose access to Smart Start and More at Four. They'll have to pay for early childhood care with no assurance of a real, quality educational component. On the other end of the system, the cost of community college and university studies continue to rise at the rate of more than 5% a year.

This Republican agenda will spare no one.

It's time for a new movement. It's time to make it clear that the people of North Carolina want a strong, responsive government that fulfills its responsibility to educate our children.

Comments

And just you wait until 2nd Session in 2012

Republicans have dumped some 1500 bills on us, too much for most to keep up with. Their damage to education has yet to be accurately calculated, but it is extensive. Their agenda is simple, and shared by Republicans nationally: privatize education at all levels, and if you want it, you pay for it--reduce all taxes by same amounts, or grant the rich/corporations further tax breaks and subsidies. Why do we now hear loud and violent screams from the public at large? I think they are (1) confused and (2) afraid, not to mention just plain damned ignorant--it is not as if the mainstream corporate media is keeping them informed in a useful way.

The Republicans are out to wreck irrepairable damage in the shortest possible time, and the biggest target for surgery is education. Further, educators tend to support Democrats and they want to defund and defranchise every Democrat possible, which is why they attack women, minorities, unions, etc. It is all part of their strategy - as prescribed by Pope and company.

wafranklin