If you haven’t been closely following state budget negotiations this week, take time to read the News & Observer’s Friday editorial that explains the wide-gulf between the House and Senate spending plans and the ‘troubling hypocrisy’ that comes from trying to boost teacher pay with gambling proceeds.
Here’s an excerpt:
The House plan is hopelessly flawed, but at least House Republican budgeteers did not plan to cut more teaching assistants, slice up the Department of Public Instruction budget and boot disabled and elderly people off Medicaid like senators did. GOP Senate leaders proudly justify their awful actions by saying it’s the only way to give teachers an 11 percent raise.
This embarrassing debate spurred by House Republicans’ clumsy budgeting and absolutely bizarre plan to goose up the state lottery by adding restrictions on advertising is another low point for this General Assembly.
Determined to cut taxes in a way that helps mostly the wealthy and big business and ignores the middle class, Republican legislators have painted themselves into a corner from which they cannot escape. It doesn’t appear House Republicans are going to help senators out of their corner, and Senate leaders seem perfectly content to leave House members in theirs.
The potential perils in this for public education are profound. For the vast majority of North Carolinians who believe in their teachers and value the public schools, that is frightening indeed.
Read the full editorial here.