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K12 logoFat cat corporate execs getting rich by sucking up taxpayer dollars: It’s one of the dirtiest little secrets of the mad rush to privatize essential public services and turn them over to giant Wall Street-backed corporations. Fortunately, the good folks at the Center for Media and Democracy are doing their best to expose the phenomenon and keep track of the nation’s mushrooming cadre of publicly-funded plutocrats.

The group has released a new report entitled Exposed: America’s Highest Paid Government Workers: They’re Not Who You Think They Are. Listed first among the six magnates profiled in the report is Ron Packard, CEO of the controversial K-12, Inc., whom the report describes as “America’s highest paid ‘teacher.'”

As readers of Sarah Ovaska’s numerous stories on the subject here at NC Policy Watch will recall, Read More

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Another day, another utterly absurd, “you can’t make this stuff up” release from the Pope-Civitas Institute. Today’s ridiculously obtuse entry: An attack on a Raleigh businesswoman tabbed by a group of business leaders to help lead their efforts to support public education because — shudder the thought! — she volunteered at one point to help the Great Schools in Wake organization that fought the re-segreation of Wake County schools.

It’s hard to know what measures higher on the insipidness meter: Read More

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Pat McCrory 4“The floggings will continue until morale improves” — that appears to be the new motto for the state’s conservative political leaders when it comes to its approach to public education. If you think that’s an exaggeration, check out this story by Travis Fain from the Greensboro News & Record.  As Fain reports:

“Top state officials are kicking around a plan to pay young teachers ‘significantly more money’ than they make now, according to state Sen. Jerry Tillman, who co-chairs a pair of key education committees in the N.C. Senate.

Jerry TillmanSuch a proposal would overhaul the state’s existing pay scale for teachers, jacking up salaries for teachers in their first five years instead putting so much emphasis on longevity, as the current scale does.

Tillman, in town Tuesday night for a political roundtable, said he discussed the plan last week with Gov. Pat McCrory.

‘He’s serious about it,’ said Tillman, R-Randolph.”

To which, all a body can say in response is: Say what? Do these guys not pay any attention at all? Read More

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Phil BergerThe over-the-top invective and mean-spirited attacks from the leader of the North Carolina’s state Senate, Sen. Phil Berger, continue to spew forth with disturbing regularity. Today, using language and uttering accusations that one would have thought unworthy of one of the state’s top elected officials, Berger described modest efforts by the North Carolina Association of Educators and other supporters of public schools to call attention to the state’s ongoing underfunding of its public schools and attacks on teachers as: “bully tactics of an organized union that puts kids’ safety at risk to gin up its membership and inflate the salaries of its executives.”

Good lord — somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!

The NCAE has, if anything, bent over backwards in recent years to try to work with GOP leaders in the General Assembly. Despite incessant, targeted attacks Read More

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There are a lot of reasons that supporters of public education in North Carolina are speaking up and showing their support today by “walking in” to public schools. Today’s “Monday Numbers” edition of the Fitzsimon File spells several of them out with disturbing clarity. 

Yesterday’s editoral in the Charlotte Observer also hit the nail on the head when it explained:

“Supporters of teachers and public schools are encouraged to visit schools, wear red to symbolize support for education, thank teachers in person or leave messages of thanks. Teachers at some schools plan to urge supporters to join school parent groups or volunteer or support schools in other ways. At some schools, there are plans for discussions before and after classes about what teachers are facing each day….

This sounds like a good approach.

GOP Senate leader Phil Berger last week lambasted the ‘walk in’ as a ‘political protest orchestrated by unions” and reminded the teachers that “schools have a duty to educate and protect our children.’ But it is Read More