“If brains were lard, you couldn’t grease a small skillet.”
– Sen. Joyce Krawiec, Jan. 20, 2017 in reference to the people participating in the Women’s March.
Not Sen. Krawiec’s best moment.
One would think that since the senator equated lard with brains and the fact that much lard was actually sent to her directly in response, she would have kept some on hand “to grease a pan” and look at the actual facts of the very budget she helped to craft and pass in North Carolina before making baseless claims.
In this particular instance, it is about public education and the class size mandate, a law that will very much hurt the very county she represents, Forsyth County.
The Winston-Salem / Forsyth County school system has over 50,000 students and over 80 schools. The class size mandate will severely alter the county budget because it is unfunded and ill-conceived.
Kris Nordstrom, policy analyst and budget guru who worked in the NCGA much longer than Krawiec has been a lawmaker has more than proven that it is an unfunded mandate. Yet, Krawiec in a rather “lardless” way trumpets the purposefully false assertion that the state has put forth the money.
She said in an email that was printed by NC Policy Watch,
“So what’s the big deal with the Senate? Why all this confusion? The General Assembly believes reducing class size in K-3 will increase positive outcomes for our young people. We have dedicated approximately $70 million of your tax dollars annually for this goal. Any good steward of other people’s money should be expected to ask, ‘How it was spent?’
How many K-3 teachers should $70 million buy? The average state cost of a classroom teacher, including benefits, is about $63,000, (salary x 1.26). That works out to approximately 1,100 new K-3 teachers for our children. Simple enough.
What does DPI report in their Highlights of the NC Public School Budget? (Summary attached) Before additional funding began in 2013 there were 26,158 allotted K-3 teachers. This year 2017-18 DPI reports funding 26,671.5 positions. A net change of 513.5 new K-3 teachers and this includes any funded through growth in ADM (Average Dailey Membership). Our children are missing about 600 K-3 teachers for which you payed. That is a problem” (http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2018/01/15/rest-assured-senator-know-teachers/#sthash.pDj5KOyd.V4v8LvKl.dpbs).
So Nordstrom does what he does best – show the truth in the numbers. Check out his recent post in response in to Krawiec’s assertion.
Nordstrom ends with his post with this:
It is inexcusable that General Assembly members continue to get the basic facts of this class-size issue so incredibly wrong. General Assembly members have access to the impressive analytical skills of the Fiscal Research Division staff, who are there to help General Assembly members understand the basic facts of often complex policy issues. It displays incredible hubris for members to send out error-filled emails or make inaccurate statements to the press without first checking with staff to make sure they have their facts straight.
Maybe it’s just a lack of lard.