A lot of important battles throughout history (be they political or military) have turned on a matter of just a few critical moments in the middle of the night. Many took place before the victors or the vanquished even realized what was happening.
We may be approaching one of those moments right now in North Carolina when it comes to the future of public education. Last night, conservative lawmakers inserted a voucher program (masquerading as a corporate tax credit) into the K-12 education overhaul bill that they are attempting to ram through the General Assembly in the waning days of the 2012 short session.
If this provision becomes law in the next few days over the objections of experts like the school superintendent in Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger’s home county, North Carolina will be well down the road toward transforming its flawed but fundamentally sound public education system into one that resembles the privatized, fully-segregated systems of many northern American big cities.
It is a terrible and dangerous development that ought to provoke enormous fear and outrage. Unfortunately, thus far, it appears that most of the general public remains blissfully unaware of the fact that this important birthright is being sold out from under them in a cynical and hastily-crafted, last minute legislative maneuver.
One can only hope that they will wake up and speak out before it’s too late.