This is in reference to HB539. It is a horrible piece of legislation for those who advocate for public schools. Please share. I have sent it to all legislators.
Dear Legislators of the North Carolina General Assembly,
I read with great disappointment that House Bill 539 would be brought up for a one-day concurrence vote before heading to Gov. McCrory for enactment. This is a bill that is simply meant to siphon even more money away from local traditional public schools to state-enabled charter schools.
What is beyond disappointing is that it is a recycled piece of legislation that at one time was meant to allow access to school facilities by non-school entities, such as public use of the playgrounds at elementary schools. However, in the midst of hostile revisions and secretly crafted drafts it has turned into yet another destructive attempt at hurting our public schools.
One only has to read the very first draft of the bill (http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2015/Bills/House/PDF/H539v0.pdf) and compare it to the last draft of the bill (http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2015/Bills/House/PDF/H539v3.pdf) to see this deliberate misuse of power. It seems like what started as a science report on photosynthesis turned into a Harlequin romance novel full of terrible metaphors limited character development – not that I have read any of those.
Some could liken this to identity theft, using the name and the appearance of a bill that seems to benefit all involved, but secretly using that façade to further selfish causes. Some could call it a Trojan Horse, making the exterior seem harmless, but hiding a destructive force within its belly. Others could call it simple hijacking.
What is ironic is that you called a special session to regulate bathrooms because of nonexistent transgender predation. You were “worried” about those who identify with a gender that may not be their birth gender. Yet you take the “body” of an originally good bill and take out the heart, soul, and guts of it and replace them with organs of greed and special interest.
On a day when the US Justice Department declared that HB2 violates the Federal Civil Rights Act, you are considering ramming a bill through the General Assembly that also discriminates. Why? Because the very local municipalities that must help support local public schools must now “share” program specific funding with charter school in their districts, even IF THOSE CHARTERS DO NOT OFFER THOSE SERVICES! However, do charter schools have to share their program-specific monies? No.
That’s treating one “person” better than the other. That’s showing favoritism when in the eyes of the state constitution no such thing should exist. Simply put, it’s discriminating.
Even more caustic is that the state is even further telling local municipalities what they can and cannot do. Just like the provision in the HB2 law that forbids local municipalities to set their own minimum wage for contracted work, this bill is government overreach. And just like HB2, this third draft of HB539 is being floated in a hurried, surreptitious fashion to avoid the light of debate and inquiry.
This is partisan politics, not true representation. This is bowing down to the wants of the few and neglecting the needs of the many.
This is one of the reasons why so many people will show up to vote on November 8th.
Stuart Egan, NBCT
Public School Teacher, Father of Public School Children, Voter