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Craven County lawmakers face tough questions, draw laughs from teachers

Craven County lawmakers Rep. Michale Speciale and Sen. Normal Sanderson held a session with more than 75 teachers at New Bern-Craven County Public Library on Monday night, according to the Sun Journal.

Teachers hurled questions at the lawmakers about their actions on teacher pay, vouchers, class size and many other issues that Sanderson and Speciale supported during the 2013 legislative session.

“My purpose for being here is to answer your questions,” said Speciale, but “I don’t want to get into a debate. This is about our trying to hold ourselves accountable.”

Speciale told teachers that the General Assembly did not cut education spending but that they actually spent $400,000 more when you “consider that previous allocations came with the expectation that 40 cents on the dollar be returned to the state.”

Also from the Sun Journal:

Asked about eliminating the $3,500 annual stipend for a teacher getting a master’s degree, Speciale said he had been shown studies that masters’ degrees and class size had little to do with teaching success.

That first got laughter, requests to see the studies, testimonials about how much both matter, and the comment from one teacher that she had spent her own time and $40,000 in tuition from her own money and will miss the cutoff for any payback by two weeks.

Speciale said he had been told that the average teacher makes $54,000, which also brought laughter and a comment from one teacher that she has been a teacher for 27 years and doesn’t make $54,000.

Read the full story here.

4 Comments


  1. emd

    September 25, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Do these fools *ever* consider getting their information from *real* people instead of the made up crap from ALEC?

  2. Gene Hoglan

    September 25, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    “Oh we’re here to be held accountable, but we don’t actually want to be held accountable by y’know answering questions from the people we’re screwing over.”

  3. david esmay

    September 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    emd, they get their info from the same place LSD and Alex get theirs, Heritage, Civitcat, Heartland,etc.

  4. George Greene

    September 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    So, these legislators ARE IGNORANT. “I’ve been told….[whatever]”. Yes and he believed THAT instead of ACTUALLY LEARNING THE FACTS. There is just no excuse for that. I guess he was too busy learning HOW TO GET ELECTED, INSTEAD of learning the facts about what works in education and about education spending.

    The only problem with highlighting the ignorance of conservative legislators (which this episode very aptly does) is that it winds up convicting THE VAST MAJORITY OF WHITE VOTERS WHO VOTED for them AS EQUALLY ignorant (or moreso). Ultimately, you have to blame THE VOTERS. Despite the Republicans’ best efforts, THIS IS STILL a little-d democracy, and if NC parents and voters LOSE our public schools, we will have NO one but OURSELVES to blame!!

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