ALEC-inspired constitutional amendments would guarantee no more meaningful raises for teachers…ever

The Senate is up to its Medieval medicine routine again. Seeing that its “patient,” the state of North Carolina, continues to struggle, the Senate leaders are calling for — you can’t make this up — more leeches and another good bloodletting.

That’s the only way to characterize the terrible proposal unveiled and blasted through a committee yesterday in less than 90 minutes to place three — count ’em, three — constitutional amendments on the state ballot to eviscerate state government for generations to come.  As N.C. Budget and Tax Center Director Alexandra Sirota explained yesterday afternoon in an understated post, the dreadful changes in the proposal would:

“make it harder – not easier – for lawmakers to budget responsibly and they will weaken the foundation of our economy by ensuring the state cannot invest in its people and places. A budget that includes these flawed policy ideas will not help North Carolina move forward.”

Here’s a less polite way to put it: Of all the horrific and destructive proposals advanced by the state’s far right elected leaders over the past five years, this is almost certainly the worst. These deceptive, ALEC-inspired amendments would, if somehow written into the state constitution, devastate North Carolina for decades to come.

Think about it: If the state were to adopt these amendments, North Carolina teachers would never — literally never — get another significant raise again. That’s because if state spending can only go up as fast as inflation and population, any and all new money will be taken up with enrollment growth and higher-than-inflation price increases in areas like health care — and that’s if we’re lucky.

In other words, what the proposal would do is lock in place the destructive policies of the past half decade permanently. Even when conservatives fall, as they inevitably will, from power, it would be virtually impossible to pass new laws to repair the damage. This has, of course, been the disastrous experience in Colorado — the only state to try a full embrace of ALEC spending caps. No wonder they legalized marijuana — they need something to dull the pain and embarrassment of their plight. You like the state of  of public services in North Carolina right now? Well get used to them (and hold on to the memory) because we will never do any better if these changes go through.

The bottom line: There have been a lot of important policy battles in recent years in North Carolina that caring and thinking people have waged to hold back the worst of far right’s agenda. But none of those fights were as important as this one. This is the Big Kahuna. If this battle is lost, North Carolina truly will never be the same again.

One Comment

  1. LayintheSmakDown

    August 7, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Leave it to Rob to exaggerate. The bill looks more like a reasonable way to limit the bloat of the NC government so that we have a chance to become a sound fiscal state in the future. And there is no mention of teachers at all….your “story” is misleading at best.

Check Also

Federal judge: All election mail must be treated as first class postage

A federal judge in Washington state issued a ...

Join Our Team

NC Policy Watch is hiring two new journalists to join our award-winning team. Click here for more information.  

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Amber Williams has seen better days. But the mother of four girls isn’t complaining. Her young famil [...]

As part of our ongoing effort to inform North Carolinians about the state judiciary, Policy Watch is [...]

Trustees at Historically Black Colleges and Universities oppose the change over concerns that conser [...]

As part of our ongoing effort to inform North Carolinians about the state judiciary, Policy Watch is [...]

There has never been a more urgent time for Congress to step up and pass a relief package that ackno [...]

In 2008, artist Shepard Fairey’s iconic image of then-Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obam [...]

The post The Postmaster always gives twice appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

As unemployment has climbed and household budgets have been stretched thinner and thinner, more fami [...]