This was our governor last Monday (May 23), calling all of us who care about public schools to rise up, git the frickin pitchforks, because the Republican extremists in the General Assembly mean to let all the little red schoolhouses fall into ruin and disappear, replaced by businesses in it for the profit. (If I had edited the text that the governor reads from a teleprompter, I would have cut it by half.)
The Republicans went ape, especially the newest one, Tricia Cotham, who dismissed the governor's appearance as "political theater." Why yes (even a blind hog finds an acorn eventually). Senate boss Phil Berger's office joined that chorus: “...meaningless publicity stunts do nothing to improve educational outcomes in our state.”
“The general public doesn’t realize the disaster that is brewing,” Cooper told the AP.
The Republicans played their trump: Cooper himself sent his own kids to private schools. So there, hypocrite.
Briana Brough took to Twitter in Cooper's defense: "OMG the pearl clutching They are so mad Cooper is using the one tool left in his toolbox (the bully pulpit) to let people know what this voucher scheme would actually do: give wealthy families a tax break while further defunding public schools. So what if Cooper sent one of his kids to private school? That's his right! There are scholarships to help people afford it. What we shouldn't do is subsidize wealthy folks (like him!) sending their kids to private school while underfunding public schools that serve everyone."Briana Brough is a Durham activist (a founder of FlipNC) and has joined up with others (Durham Families for Every Child NC), which is hosting a teach-in on the whole Republican privatization crowd and their schemes:
This plan would siphon $200M from public schools. It would actually DECREASE the amount the state kicks in by about $2300 for each public school kid who transfers to private. But it would INCREASE state funding for a kid currently attending private school by an average of $5000.That means the state will be spending about $138M in new expenditures to families already paying for private school.
It will pay the same amount for kids who transfer to private schools, but will cost public schools $200M b/c the value of the voucher is < per pupil spending. So basically, half the voucher funding will go to families already wealthy enough to pay for private education. The rest will go to families wealthy enough to make up the difference between the voucher and tuition.
The rest of us - the vast majority of families who either don't want, can't afford, or don't have a good private school option - get screwed by a budget that continues to disrespect educators and underfund our public school system in violation of the North Carolina Constitution.