According to the folks who run North Carolina government, these are fabulous times in the Old North State. To hear Gov. McCrory, Senate President Pro Tem Berger and House Speake Moore tell it, North Carolina’s economy is soaring and state government is humming along like a finely tuned machine. In other words, it pretty much doesn’t get any better than this.
All of which makes this story from this morning’s Greensboro News & Record all the more striking.
“Hitting the brakes
A few hours behind the wheel stands between 937 local teenagers and a driving eligibility certificate.
They could remain in that holding pattern for a month or more until it is clear how much state funding, if any, Guilford County Schools will get to cover its driver education program.
The state funding for the program expires Tuesday. Starting Wednesday, Guilford’s program is suspended until the General Assembly decides how much money, if any, to spend on the state-mandated program.”
The article goes on to detail how lawmakers continue to seriously consider all kinds of proposals to cut driver’s ed, move it out of K-12 education to community colleges or even eliminate it all together.
You got that? In a state of 10 million people with vast wealth, supposed good times and an obvious and growing need for safer streets and roads, the government of the state cannot even get its act together to maintain something so basic to the health and well-being off the community as a functioning, well-funded driver’s education program.
But, of course, this should come as no surprise. The same people letting the driver’s education program go to seed are the same ones who are bent on transforming the teaching profession itself into temporary, early career option and the public schools into no-frills education factories.
If this is government when times are “good,” one hates to think of what things will look like the next time the the economy turns sour again.