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.