Damning with faint praise

Though it’s not so clear to me that the GOP could have simply walked away and stayed away as they threatened to do (and as the editorial accepts as a given) a piece in this morning’s Winston-Salem Journal has a generally accurate take on some key outcomes of the recently adjourned General Assembly:

“This supplemental budget will mean further cuts to our public schools, the schools that educate the vast majority of North Carolina children. The legislature did not add back enough state money to offset lost federal stimulus money that had been paying thousands of teachers.

Class sizes will grow. There will be fewer course offerings. Teachers will be laid off.

But, had the veto been sustained, the Republican leadership was threatening to simply go home, to leave the state’s schools with an even deeper hole from which to climb. We’ll never know if they would have followed through on that threat, but it would have been in keeping with their general disdain for public schools.

Throughout this session, the Republican leadership showed little willingness to sit down with Perdue and negotiate. We wish they had done so on the budget. There could have been more money for schools and for other priorities such as compensation for eugenics victims.

But, had they just walked away after a sustained veto, it would have been worse.

For those who believe in public education, that is all that is left now, considering the people in power — the sense that it could have been worse.”


  1. Frank Burns

    July 5, 2012 at 8:28 am

    It is unfair and not accurate to refer to the Republicans as having “disdain” for education. What they have disdain for is wasteful spending of the public’s dollars. Republicans are just as interested as Democrats in having a good education system. There are more than one way to skin a cat.

  2. david esmay

    July 5, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Great argument for “ignorance is knowledge” GOP party, Frank. What they have is a disdain for is the right to a quality education as stated in the state constitution. That cat skinning you refer to is public money being skimmed into corporate pockets like K-12 Inc., or for funding private and religious schools.

  3. Frank Burns

    July 5, 2012 at 9:06 am

    It doesn’t matter to the education of a child gets where it comes from. If the private or religious organizations can educate the child at less cost, the NC taxpayer benefits from the process. They still get the quality education called for in the constitution. Actually it looks like the child has a better opportunity for a better education when they go to a private or religious school than a public school.

  4. HunterC

    July 5, 2012 at 9:28 am


    Actually, it does matter where the education comes from because the NC Constitution calls for free PUBLIC education. Not private. Not religious.

  5. Frank Burns

    July 5, 2012 at 9:45 am

    If the public is paying for it, then it is free PUBLIC education and therefore the constitution is fully satisfied.

  6. david esmay

    July 5, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Frank, you’re not only delusional, you’re incapable of spewing anything but a regressive neo-con line of b.s.. Our entire educational system is being co-opted by the right’s hell bent bent for leather attempt to privatize for profit, not improve the education of our children. The GOP in Texas has, as a component of their platform, a statement to remove the teaching of critical thinking from the school system. In Louisiana, an private religious school funded by tax payer dollars is teaching the Loch Ness monster exists and thus refutes the theory of evolution, which they don’t teach because it “confuses” children. Really? Are you f’n kidding me? Try getting into an accredited university in order to obtain a degree in science or engineering from one of these schools. This is a concerted effort by the deniers and revisionist lunatics who control the GOP to promote “their” special brand of social engineering and ignorance. The fact that, in this day and age we are having these medieval conversations, outlines how far regressive politics and ideas, and the people that promote them are willing to go in an effort to turn back the clock.

  7. Frank Burns

    July 5, 2012 at 10:16 am

    I don’t know where you are coming up with that “stuff”, maybe from some Advicacy Group or something. There is no agenda for social engineering from the Republicans. That’s what the left does all the time and is one reason why many parents are choosing to remove their children from public schools. They are voting with their feet. The Republicans are interested in seeing that NC children are getting a quality education at the lowest cost. If offers parents more choice which is a good thing. I don’t see any downside, but win win for everybody.

  8. HunterC

    July 5, 2012 at 10:19 am

    @ Frank

    NC’s judicial branch — including several Republican judges — disagree with your (lack of) reading the plain language of the NC Constutition.

  9. Frank Burns

    July 5, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I would like to trust you, but can you show me?

  10. HunterC

    July 5, 2012 at 10:44 am

    I know I’m feeding a troll, but for the lurkers…

    Let’s start with the plain language of Article IX of the NC Constitution.


    Feel free to use teh google to find any number of news articles — or better yet the actual opinions — about what this section is interpreted to mean by various judges.

    Done playing this morning, Frank. Till later.

  11. Frank Burns

    July 5, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I see, in other words, you’ve got nothing. To the lurkers out there, this is what happens when the left runs out of arguments, denigrate who you disagree with and run.

  12. Michael

    July 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    What Republicans have disdain for is PUBLIC education. If there is one way to skin a cat, then what are their ideas? Public funding for private schools? What about the “free market?” They tried this in Duplin County already, and there was such a public hue and cry that they’re going to “revisit” the issue later. Vouchers? OK, where are the vouchers going to come from? Isn’t that an example of government deciding who gets to go to school where? I’m not pointing any fingers, but vouchers open up the opportunity for government to deny anyone they want access to schools. As far as Republicans having “disdain” for wasteful spending, there are a whole host of examples on the national and state level to disprove that.

    Public schools are the only way to ensure fair education for all children. Parents have plenty of choices without denying a good education to children whose parents choose, for whatever reason, to send their kids to public school.

  13. david esmay

    July 5, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    @Frank, the repubs have interest in anything other than privatizing the public wealth. The “stuff” is a matter of public record, not information from some advocacy group. Dude, you are thick in the head, really, like a brick.

  14. James

    July 5, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Only Frank could read a post that contains the exact information he asked for and then conclude that what he asked for wasn’t delivered. No surprise there. It’s the GOP way: Piss on the Constitution with one hand, even as you salute with the other.

  15. david esmay

    July 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    That’s why they’re led by chest beating draft dodgers like bush, cheney, and romney.

  16. Frank Burns

    July 5, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Shifting funds would not violate the NC constitution as the state would continue to provide for that child’s education in a private school. Nobody could provide any documentation that it would violate the constitution. Providing a copy of the constitution does not help the discussion.

    Allow me to correct your error. The Republicans are not against public education. They are for keeping costs down. There is a difference. They support giving parents more choices, the Dems are for restricting choices.

    No on the contrary, you are thick as a brick. You keep repeating the crap from Advocacy Groups. The Republicans are not trying to keep costs down for any government agency which includes the schools. The Dems have no concern over costs. They merrily accept any cost increase and pass it on to the taxpayer to deal with.

  17. Frank Burns

    July 5, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Correction to David. The Republicas ARE trying to keep costs down.

  18. david esmay

    July 5, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Frank, blah blah blah, right wing gibberish, blah blah blah.

  19. david esmay

    July 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Frank, you got kids in school? I do, for the last 18 years, and the next 14. I like paying taxes when I know the money is going education, care for the elderly, the poor, and the disadvantaged, improvements in infrastructure, and unemployment for those that need it. I don’t like it when it goes to welfare for the rich and corporations at the expense of everything else. Republicans and the wealthy they represent love tax dollars, and spending tax dollars as,long as they don’t have to pay them. You want to keep costs under control, stop giving away millions to those who don’t need it, and invest in those that do.

  20. Frank Burns

    July 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    The state of NC offers incentives for corporations to move to NC, I don’t like it either but it’s what our representatives (DEMOCRAT and Republican) do. The City of Charlotte does that all the time and I don’t agree with them. Using the argument that everybody else does it is not a valid reason. Our state needs to be more vigilant with taxpayer funds and be constantly on the lookout for cutting spending when they can. It’s the right thing to do.

  21. gregflynn

    July 5, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Frank will say anything to win an argument, even contradict himself:

    What benefit is there to the American public to fund Moslem charter schools? It seems to me this violates the separation of church and state and therefore public funds should not be used. – Frank Burns, May 15 – 10:41 am

    Now he’s OK with religious schools using public money.

  22. JeffS

    July 5, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Why is the defense always “money money doesn’t equal a better education”.

    The Republicans have done nothing but cut programs for the last two years – many which had a proven track record of success. They have replaced them with… nothing. Absolutely nothing.

    Yes. They have cared about public education so much that they have offered absolutely nothing as a way of improving it. They did attempt to funnel public money to a favorite GOP pet corporation, and create a tax-break loophole for private school attendees. Stop lying to yourself Frank. The GOP agenda is to defund public schools to encourage white flight, and turn a corporate profit off the ones that remain. It’s not a secret and no one is denying it.

    Just admit it and stop with the pitiful excuses.

  23. Frank Burns

    July 6, 2012 at 6:57 am

    The problem with the Moslem schools is the taxpayer is losing out by those schools importing foreign teachers when there is an unemployment problem over here. That is what I was referring to. Again you fail to look at context of each particular conversation. Keep looking for those “gotchas”.

    Don’t you agree that parents want choice? The Republicans want to offer those choices and the Democrats don’t. Parents are plainly not satisfied with the public schools and want options. Can you blame them?

  24. gregflynn

    July 6, 2012 at 7:47 am

    What part of being foreign violates the separation of church and state?

  25. Frank Burns

    July 6, 2012 at 8:19 am

    If the American taxpayer is footing the bill, it would be appropriate for American teachers to be hired not foreign. You can’t hide behind your religion to justify the hiring of foreign teachers.

  26. gregflynn

    July 6, 2012 at 9:42 am

    But according to Frank you can hide behind religion even if the American taxpayer is footing the bill, if your religion happens to be Catholic and your non-Catholic employees want access to family planning services.

  27. Frank Burns

    July 6, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Greg apparantly thinks it ok for the federal government to tell the Catholic Church which tenet of their faith is acceptable and which ones are not. I don’t agree. Let’s try to be a little more specific and not so generic by calling it family planning services, it’s about abortion of innocent children due to them not being convenient.

  28. david esmay

    July 6, 2012 at 11:56 am

    That’s not the government’s argument Frank, the argument is about the church forcing their tenets on others, such as employees and students who attend their universities, which by the way accept public funds. The Catholic Church’s hierarchy contends that women should be nothing more than brood mares. Women and a vast majority of Catholics in the U.S. disagree.

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