Senator Berger gets closeup view of his own education cuts

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger does’t have to go very far to see the effect of the education budgets he and his Republican colleagues in Raleigh have passed in the last four years. The Winston-Salem Journal reported this weekend that the schools in Berger’s home county of Rockingham are struggling with the very basics.

A bathroom that doesn’t have toilet paper. A classroom lacking textbooks. A copy machine without paper. In some Rockingham County schools, there’s not enough money to buy these — and other things.

The Rockingham schools are receiving $55 less per pupil from the state than they received two years ago and voters defeated a proposal for a quarter-cent increase in the sales tax in November, thanks no doubt to the anti-tax sentiment whipped up by Republicans and their Tea Party allies on Right Wing Avenue.

And now the students don’t have textbooks and can’t make any copies.  The story  says that school officials are looking for a vacant warehouse to use to collect donated classroom supplies.

That’s what it has come to in this new era in North Carolina.

Public schools are the new charity in town because the folks running North Carolina refuse to adequately fund them.


  1. LayintheSmakDown

    December 15, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Do schools use textbooks any more? My kids have not come home with any in years.

  2. teachermama

    December 15, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Yes, classrooms in NC use textbooks. We often have to share so we do not send them home because we do t have enough. Theu are also VERY outdated. My reading series we currently are encouraged to use is over 10 years old.

  3. teachermama

    December 15, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Hit send too soon! Sorry for the errors!

  4. david esmay

    December 15, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    LSD, proving once again that those on the right have a very loose grasp on reality.

  5. Adam

    December 16, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    It is important to note that the state is planning to transition to digital textbooks by 2017. See S.L. 2013-12. They may be trying to avoid paying for new paper textbooks when digital ones are just around the corner.

  6. northstar

    December 16, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Rockingham County residents voted down the tax increase not because of the tea party or right wing views as suggested in an earlier post. It was voted down because we already pay a lot of money in property taxes which the schools get a large part of. We can’t afford to pay more. There is also an underlying issue of waste and large salary increases for the higher up positions at the school system central office. That gave most voters concern over giving these folks more money to squander. The superintendent who makes $192,000 a year should take a pay cut to help pay for the items needed. He gets paid nearly what superintendents in counties with large cities make but yet we are a county of 92,000 people.

  7. LayintheSmakDown

    December 16, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Now digital is the way to go. Good info Adam.

  8. Dave G

    December 18, 2014 at 10:20 am

    NC already has one of the most regressive tax systems of any state. By virtually eliminating income taxes and having sales taxes as high as 20%, the tax burden shifts from the rich to those least able to afford it.

  9. Wayne B

    December 27, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I suppose NC is switching to digital toilet paper, too.

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