From “Going Nuclear” to “Going Into Hiding” – Sen. Phil Berger’s Avoidance in Confronting Public School Teachers

After thousands of teachers and education advocates marched on Raleigh on May 16, 2018 calling for better treatment of public schools, the GOP super-majority invoked what is akin to a “nuclear” option in passing its budget. Rather than allowing for debate on matters of money from elected representatives and the opportunity of amendments, Phil Berger and Tim Moore had the budget voted on in committee.

It is commonly speculated that this maneuver was exercised because of last year’s teacher rally and to avert dialogue that would force them to show their hypocrisy on the treatment of teachers and traditional public schools.

That budget was released on Monday, May 28th at approximately 9:00 on a federal holiday that honored fallen soldiers who died fighting for the freedom of Americans to have a democratic process preside over matters of state in a state that is considered one of the most military friendly in the nation.

Two-hundred and sixty-seven pages that did little to address what needs so much to be addressed.

That budget

  • Provided more tax cuts for corporations and wealthy people.
  • Teacher Pay was raised in an uneven distribution and veteran teachers were ignored.
  • Had the principal pay plan altered into one that gave “bonuses.”
  • Allowed localities to now use property taxes to help fund charter schools.
  • Set up a contribution  for select Charlotte / Mecklenburg Schools.
  • Allowed the ISD to run schools if it sees fit.
  • Extended the virtual charter schools pilot from four years to eight.
  • Even financed a charter school.

And now that another march and rally is coming this May 1st, Berger again is being reactive and belligerent toward public school teachers and education advocates – he’s having the General Assembly spend the day talking over the budget and limiting the availability of legislators to meet with constituents who have come to Raleigh.

Seems that he and his cronies will not be available for very long (if at all) to talk to teachers. He’s going to hide in his own building.

Teachers scare so many people in Raleigh, especially Phil Berger. Going “nuclear” or “going into hiding “seems to go hand in hand with his copious releasing of statements aimed to paint everyone involved with May 1st as the enemy and himself as the victim.

If only Berger confronted those he supposedly represents like teachers confront he problems in public education, then there might be reason to take his words seriously.