The following was sent out today as a statement from Sen. Phil Berger’s office.
Since when does an announcement need to be announced?
It seems reminiscent of the big announcements that Mark Johnson was building suspense for in February to be revealed at a privately held dinner. And it screams of three specific things.
First, the political terrain has changed in a once-veto proof North Carolina General Assembly. And Berger knows it. Unless you have not been paying attention to the current legislative maneuverings of the NCGA this session, it has been heavily education related. Graduate degree pay, calendar flexibility, school construction bonds, etc.
It speaks to the need for the current NCGA powers to try and save face because the race for 2020 began the day after the 2018 elections were over and now Gov. Cooper can issue vetoes that can stick.
Secondly, it is happening literally right after NCAE announced another day of public education advocacy in Raleigh on May 1st. Last year’s May 16th rally brought around 30,000 people on a day where many school systems had to close down because of the sheer number of teachers who came to Raleigh by financing their own personal leave days.
Except this year’s rally is specific to five issues and is much more organized at the same point in planning as last year’s. Maybe Berger’s statement of an announcement is to address one of these issues and try to stave off any momentum.
Make no mistake. May 1st’s potential scares many in Raleigh. To be able in a “Right-to-work” state to make politicians have to take notice of a collective body eager to affect change scares the hell out people like Berger and Moore.
And lastly, this announcement planned ironically on April Fools Day shows everyone in the state of North Carolina just how much of Berger’s puppet Mark Johnson really is.
Yes, it is nice to have the head of the NCGA Senate Chamber, the head of DPI, and a democrat on the Sate Board come out to announce something big about public education. But it seems that Mark Johnson cannot talk without Berger either controlling the narrative or taking some sort of credit for it. It’s simple grandstanding that will more than likely fire up the public school advocacy base than it will ameliorate years of intentional legislative neglect.
Or it could be a simple April Fools Day joke.
But in this state legislature there seems to be a “Fools Day” at least twice a month.