I understand that Majority Leader [Paul] Stam has said that his goal would be to ultimately eliminate public schools, and I categorically disagree with that for a variety of reasons. Right now with him being Majority Leader and me being Speaker, I like my chances.
Chris Fitzsimon quoted this amazing little let's-pull-the-curtain-back-and-show-you-who's-jerking-the-levers-of-power moment to underline the year-long war by the new Republican majority in the NC General Assembly against the very institution of public education, a war that Mr. Tillis has most certainly participated in, despite his protestations to the contrary. The fact that Tillis sez he does not want to eliminate public schools altogether, like Mr. Stamm, he's certainly done what he could to cripple them.
Fitzsimon provides a partial primer for that warfare:
The [Republican] budget fired teachers and teacher assistants, slashed funding for textbooks and supplies and locked thousands of at-risk kids out of nationally recognized preschool programs.
Funding for mentoring and professional development for teachers was drastically cut. Support for the N.C. Teaching Fellows was abolished.
The overall cuts dropped North Carolina to 49th in the nation in per pupil spending. Funding for public schools as a percentage of the state’s General Fund is the lowest in more than 40 years....
Fitzsimon didn't even mention Tillis's cynical Midnight Maneuver to cripple the NC Assoc. of Educators nor wade into the layoffs and abandoned programs in our public universities.
It's fairly clear that the battle at the polls this fall will be a battle to restore North Carolina public education, from the local level on up through governor. If the voters approve of the war of attrition on the ability of the state's children to cope in the 21st century with a 2nd-class education, then they'll vote to continue it by keeping Mr. Tillis and Mr. Stamm in their seats of power.