Teachers and parents this year are spending hundreds of their own money to provide students with the essential supplies they need to learn effectively. School supply lists continue to grow and this year have basic sanitation supplies added to those lists, items like paper towel, tissues, and even bathroom soap. Lawmakers in Raleigh are continuing to give tax cuts to corporations while leaving communities scrambling to provide the basic needs for their public school classrooms.
This Election Day should be a day of reckoning for North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders who have shirked their responsibility and broken a long state tradition of strong support for public schools.
Instead of investing in the state’s children, instead of improving education as a way for poor children to escape poverty and all children to achieve goals, the Republican-led General Assembly has chosen to reduce state taxes, mostly to the benefit of the wealthy and big corporations. Billions of dollars in tax revenue that could have lifted North Carolina’s schools to new heights instead has been diverted into tax cuts that have produced no tangible results.
Republican lawmakers are acutely aware of their culpability in this choice, but instead of defending it or apologizing for it, they’re denying it. Even worse, they’re claiming credit for increasing spending on public education. This is duplicity joined with sophistry, and it should stir the smoldering anger over the neglect of public schools into outrage.