From a fact sheet distributed to the news media today in anticipation of the AFP/Pope-Civitas/tea party’s so-called “Real Solutions” tour (let us know if you’d like printable copies):
“Real Solutions” tour equals Real Distortions
Five facts you need to know about the tea party’s latest propaganda tour
Worried that public opinion has turned against the out-of-control policy priorities of the extreme, tea partying North Carolina General Assembly, right-wing political groups in Raleigh are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on high-priced TV ads and a bizarre “billboard tour” in which they’re trying to claim that conservative state legislative leaders did not cut education funding this year.
Here are the facts about this claim:
#1- North Carolina has fewer teachers – Despite the presence of thousands more students, North Carolina schools have almost 5,000 fewer professionals working in the public schools this school year than last – including 915 fewer teachers and 2,042 fewer teacher assistants. Experts at the N.C. Budget and Tax Center say next year’s budget looks even bleaker.
#2- Funding slashed from Pre-K to the universities – In addition to slashing K-12 funding, lawmakers also cut Pre-Kindergarten by 20% and reduced funding for universities and community colleges by more than $900 million in the 2011-2013 budget.
#3 – County school superintendents have testified that cuts are harming our schools. Last week, 26 school superintendents from throughout the state (most from primarily-Republican counties) told the state Board of Education in no uncertain terms that budget cuts are causing enormous harm to K-12 education.
#4 – The public overwhelmingly disagrees with the legislature’s decisions – A new poll released on April 9 by NC Policy Watch and Public Policy Polling shows that NC voters reject these decisions by overwhelming margins. According to the poll:
- 65% of NC voters say K-12 schools should receive more funding.
- 64% say the new personnel cuts are a “bad thing’ for schools.
- 63% say they trust their local superintendents to explain the effect of budget cuts, while only 16% trust their state legislator.
- 50% blame the legislature for the latest cuts, while only 21% blame the Governor and 19% blame the federal government.
#5 – The so-called “Real Solutions” campaign is a secret, big money boondoggle. Despite public calls for them to come clean, the tea party groups behind the misnamed “Real Solutions” campaign (The Pope-Civitas Institute and Americans for Prosperity of North Carolina) refuse to disclose the names of the individuals and/or corporations who are putting up the hundreds of thousands of dollars for their effort. The public deserves to know who is paying for this propaganda. What are the “Real Solutions” groups trying to hide?