The North Carolina state legislature has had to make some big decisions regarding education lately and have chosen tax cuts for big corporations over funding public education. The NC Chamber, who should speak up on big issues such as education, has failed to advocate for more public school funding in North Carolina. The Chamber used to advocate on behalf of public education, however, they now refuse to speak on the issue. What is there to blame for this change other than our outrageous legislature?
The Chamber has been silent on teacher and principal pay – which have tumbled and today rank among the WORST in the nation. The Chamber should be the loudest voice demanding our schools are funded to at least the national average.
It was not too long ago that the state Chamber was the lead advocate for North Carolina’s public schools. Its leaders were directly involved in public education policy and support. They recognized public education’s value and direct relationship to the prosperity of their businesses and the communities.
Has the Chamber simply cut a deal with the legislative leadership? Did the Chamber agree to grab the tax cuts, wage restrictions and unemployment benefits cuts, and then shut up about everything else?
It looks like it to us. Today’s legislators will be replaced by other soon enough. But our communities will still be there, wondering what happened to our school systems.
The unfortunate reality is that the state Chamber today is a toothless servant to an ideologically-driven leadership of the General Assembly. The legislators’ actions show they’re bound and determined to diminish the public schools regardless of the consequences.
The state Chamber should be in the forefront of holding legislators accountable for their support – or lack of support – for public education. It should be uncompromising in demanding legislators make support of public schools the top priority. The Chamber’s silence is deafening.