The News & Observer editorial staff printed an op-ed this morning about the latest attack from the John Locke Foundation / Civitas Institute against the North Carolina Association of Educators.
In what could be the toughest year to be a teacher in the state of North Carolina, the repeated antics from the John Locke Foundation and its other half (Civitas) are really nothing more than veiled attempts at weakening the entire public school system and to make it more vulnerable to educational reforms such as unaccountable vouchers and segregating charter schools.
Makes one wonder why this “think-tank” spends so much money to suppress a group of educators who advocate for fully funding our public schools and call out issues that affect our students’ lives.
Actually it shouldn’t. Just look at the pattern over these last few years.
First, North Carolina is the only state in the country without a new budget passed in the last two years.
Next consider these conditions:
- 21 states currently have a minimum wage that matches the federally mandated minimum wage of $7.25/hour. North Carolina is one of them.
- 7 seven states currently outlaw collective bargaining for public employees. North Carolina is one of them.
- 14 states did not adopt Medicaid expansion. North Carolina is one of them.
- 18 states have vouchers and charter schools. North Carolina is one of them.
- 2 states measure public schools with a formula that weighs achievement more than growth. North Carolina is one of them.
Name the only state in the country with the lowest legal minimum wage, no collective bargaining rights, no Medicaid expansion, loosely regulated voucher and charter school expansion, and a school performance grading system that measures achievement over growth. North Carolina.
Now name a state that has a lower state corporate flat tax. None do.
Not to mention that North Carolina has the nation’s worst unemployment benefits.
ALL OF THIS AFFECTS PUBLIC EDUCATION.
Now consider all of the actions that have been directly aimed at public education teachers in the last decade that have been championed by the John Locke Foundation / Civitas Institute.
Throw in a pandemic – and we get a teacher/education shortage like we have never seen along with a teacher pipeline that has been drying up over the last ten years.
That 22310 figure? It’s from today, October 2nd.
Wait, there’s this little thing called LEANDRO that the powers-that-be in Raleigh who are supported by the John Locke Foundation / Civitas Institute refuse to comply with.
The John Locke Foundation even said this about the LEANDRO ruling.
And as this state sits on a surplus that could more than fulfill the LENDRO decision’s call for funding public schools, the John Locke Foundation not only is trying to vilify NCAE, but is trying to use the the boogeyman of CRT and “indoctirnation” to scare teachers into submission.
Over a third of those people in the F.A.C.T. S. task force are directly linked to that same libertarian think tank founded by Art Pope that is putting up these billboards:
Either that makes the John Locke Foundation / Civitas Institute wimpy enough to spend so much money to suppress a teacher “union” within a Right to Work / At Will state that outlaws collective bargaining rights for public employees and has instituted constricting limitations on teacher rights and incomes all while financing a non-transparent voucher system and unregulated charter schools, …
…or they absolutely despise educators who advocate for fully funded schools at the hearts of communities.
Garrison Keillor once wrote, “When you wage war on the public schools, you’re attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You’re not a conservative, you’re a vandal.” Public school advocates and organizations like NCAE realize that public schools are more than just physical classrooms – they are the very fabric of the community.
To fight for schools is to fight for communities.
It’s clear who is fighting for schools.