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Senate Dems question Berger’s education reform plan (video)

Senate Leader Phil Berger made several adjustments to the Excellent Public Schools Act before Tuesday’s committee hearing, but Senate Democrats found more room for improvement.

Wake County Senator Josh Stein said he was troubled by Part III of the bill, which would issue a letter grade for each public school. Stein worried certain achievements could be overlooked under this rating system, leaving parents with a less than accurate assessment of their local public school.

“This I feel is part of a trend, disparaging public education to set up an environment where by it makes sense to have school vouchers for private school,” argued Stein.”This just seems too simplistic and too punitive in my opinion.”

Senator Floyd McKissick of Durham County questioned why another part of the legislation would strip away public financing for the state Superintendent of Public Instruction race.

Finally,  Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt of Buncombe County chastised Berger for eliminating effective teacher training programs last year, while trying to make it easier to dismiss educators this year under this bill.

Despite their concerns, the committee advanced Senator Berger’s bill on a voice vote to the the Senate appropriations and finance committee .

To hear more of Tuesday’s debate on Senate Bill 795, click below:

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5 Comments

  1. Frances Jenkins

    May 30, 2012 at 7:32 am

    What were the positive comments about this bill? Was the issue addressed about 66% of fourth graders are not reading at grade level in NC? In addition, what was said about the 70% of NC students must take remedial classes at the community college level in NC? I know Stein and Nesbitt expressed their outrage and Fritzsimon yelled a poor education contributes to poverty and this must be changed for the benefits of North Carolina students.
    Democrats Plus1

  2. Alex

    May 30, 2012 at 8:09 am

    What were these Dumbocrats doing for education when they were running the show in NC ?

    Answer: Very little

  3. Jeff S

    May 30, 2012 at 11:27 am

    How hilarious is it to read the law as-written and then see the Republicans proposing to remove the SPI. I guess with the amount of money that’s been “invested” in Tedesco over the last couple of years they can’t risk him losing to a non-bought candidate.

    SECTION 15.(a) G.S. 163-278.95 reads as rewritten:
    Ҥ 163-278.95. Purpose and establishment of Voter-Owned Elections Act.
    The purpose of this Article is to ensure the vitality and fairness of democratic elections in 31 North Carolina to the end that any eligible citizen of this State can realistically choose to seek 32 and run for public office. It is also the purpose of this Article to protect the constitutional rights 33 of voters and candidates from the detrimental effects of increasingly large amounts of money 34 being raised and spent in North Carolina to influence the outcome of elections. It is essential to 35 the public interest that the potential for corruption or the appearance of corruption is minimized 36 and that the equal and meaningful participation of all citizens in the democratic process is 37 ensured. Accordingly, this Article establishes the North Carolina Voter-Owned Elections Fund 38 as an alternative source of campaign financing for candidates who obtain a sufficient number of 39 qualifying contributions from registered voters and who voluntarily accept strict fund-raising 40 and spending limits. This Article is available to candidates for the Council of State offices of 41 Auditor, Superintendent of Public Instructon,Auditor and Commissioner of Insurance in 42 elections to be held in 2008 and thereafter.”

    And thanks Alex for the use of the political name-calling. It makes it so much easier to know who to ignore.I’m sorry the school system failed you, but the are plenty of continuing ed programs for adults that might help you in your attempt to communicate.

  4. Frank Burns

    May 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I don’t see a problem with assigning a letter grade for schools. Parents need to have an objective means to see how their assigned public school rates in order to make an informed decision regarding school options.

    I understand the State Superintendant is nothing more than a ceremonial position with no real authority. Why should we be concerned with public financing of this race?

  5. david esmay

    May 30, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Frank, you don’t see a problem with any ALEC written legislation, are you a paid troll for ALEC, the heritage foundation, or civitas, or all of the above?