Uncategorized

Etheridge is right about public school fundraisers

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bob Etheridge appears to have been a smidge off on the actual dollar figure, but the essence of his comment about his grandchild’s public school during last night’s Democratic gubernatorial debate was on the money and goes right to the heart of the single most important issue facing our state: It is simply ridiculous that public school PTA’s and other support groups must raise private donations to fund core services at our public schools.

At Etheridge’s grandchild’s school — Root Elementary, which is located in an affluent Raleigh neighborhood — parents have been encouraged to contribute a specified amount to help the school independently underwrite the cost of another staff person. And, as anyone with children in the North Carolina public schools who’s ever attended a PTA meeting knows, Root’s practice is not an exceptional situation; it is, in fact extremely common. It was the practice at my children’s Raleigh elementary school.

This, of course, is a absurd and unjust situation. Like roads and police departments and other essential public structures, public schools ought to receive all the funding they need from public tax dollars. But, as anyone with a child in the schools knows, they simply don’t.  

By raising this basic issue, Etheridge has shined a light on one of the biggest elephants in the the state policy room right now — namely North Carolina’s chronic and shortsighted underfunding of public education. 

Conservatives can claim as much as they want that money isn’t the solution in public schools, but the simple truth is that they are just plain wrong. Money doesn’t solve all problems, but having more people in the classroom is almost always a big help. And that takes money. The parents at Root Elementary know this just like the parents and teachers at the school my kids attended knew it a decade ago.

And Republican gubernatorial front runner Pat McCrory ought to know it too. His sister was a teacher at my kid’s old school.

 

 

Check Also

Join us next Wednesday for a discussion of reproductive freedom

Join us next Wednesday, February 28 for a ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Last week, a teenager in Florida opened fire in a high school and killed 17 people. Nikolas Cruz, 19 [...]

Students, faculty and staff at UNC continue protest the Chapel Hill campus’ Confederate monument, “S [...]

On a sultry day last September, Megan Stilley arrived at Lanier Farms, a large swine operation in ru [...]

When North Carolina lawmakers approved what one Republican described as a “historic” investment in r [...]

In “Lessons on political speech, academic freedom, and university governance from the new North Caro [...]

Cracks are forming in the NRA’s death grip on American politics At some point, it’s going to happen. [...]

As the General Assembly wraps up its weirdly timed and generally ill-conceived winter session, it wo [...]

The post Dumb & Dumber & Dumbest appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]