Over 40 students and activists rallied in front of the legislature yesterday to defend public education. Speakers voiced dissent over the likely billion dollar cuts to public education, the resegregation of public schools and the inequitable treatment of undocumented students seeking higher education in North Carolina.
Speakers delivered heartfelt testimonies highlighting the need for equal educational access. To date, undocumented students do not receive federal or state financial aid for higher education and must wait until all other students register before they can select their college courses from what is leftover.
Speakers also discussed the overwhelming budget cuts to education. The 10% DPI budget reduction proposal requested by Governor Perdue will eliminate 5000 teacher positions and layoff 13,000 teacher aids. Education is the social and economic foundation of our society. These cuts threaten this foundation, and thus, also threaten the future of our state.
In the freezing cold and rain, these students were dedicated and frustrated enough to peacefully voice their concern. Legislators should take these comments to heart before enacting cuts that will damage futures, limit opportunity and erode the economic and social foundation of the state.