Daily Political Briefing: House Proposal "A Nightmare for North Carolina"
May 20, 2009
May 20, 2009
House Proposal Axes 12000 Educators, Cancels 5 Days of School
The House Education Appropriations Committee is releasing a tentative proposal that is unprecedented in its cuts in recent history.
7,000 teachers cut, 5,000 teacher assistants slashed, 2.5% cut from educator salaries and five instructional days lopped off the end of the calendar. With a tax revenue system that is based almost exclusively on an unpredictable sales tax, an emaciated manufacturing industry and a bygone agricultural economy, the state appropriation chairs were forced to present an education budget with 20% less revenue from a year ago.
"Educators, parents, students and communities need to brace for something the state has not done for generations if this proposal becomes real: eliminate thousands of jobs and cut out five days of school from the 180 day calendar," said NCAE Government Relations Manager Cecil Banks. "I’ve heard people complain that they don’t understand how government affects their lives. They’re about to find out."
Under the House plan proposed this afternoon, school will be eliminated the last week of school: no teachers, no students, no administrators, no buses and no money allocated to pay for those expenses during that week. That’s a 2.5% cut for educator pay and that’s if they’re fortunate enough to hang on to an educator job.
Many will be given pink slips under this plan. 7000 teachers overall and another 5000 teacher assistants in the 3rd grade will be out of work. The teachers will be the victims of increased class size of two students and the teacher assistants will be eliminated altogether.
"These 12000 educators are people with families who need this income and they live in communities that need their employment," Banks said. "They teach children who need them in the classroom as well. Today is a nightmare for North Carolina."
The nightmare doesn’t end there according to reliable sources at the General Assembly. Early childhood programs like More at Four will be slashed by 10%. The popular Teacher Academy program will lose all of its literacy coaches and absorb a 15% across the board cut. The Teacher Cadet program is cut by $60,000 (or 15%) and nearly every nonprofit contracting with the state has been eliminated completely.
NCAE Executive Director Scott Anderson sent out a dire warning to NCAE members. "The storm is here and we need all hands on deck," he said. "If North Carolinians want an educated citizenry, then fight with NCAE."
Save Educator Jobs!
Modernize Tax Structure, Invest in Education
(Visit www.capwiz.com/nea/nc if the link doesn’t work.)
Job #1 for NCAE: Save Educator Jobs
NCAE President Sheri Strickland stated today that NCAE will commit every resource to save 12,000 jobs from the chopping block.
NCAE knew it was bad. The tax revenue stalled at $17 billion and the state’s needs remain at $21 billion. Now more than ever, citizens need government and the state is dead broke.
"We can fix this and we can make this state whole again," said NCAE President Sheri Strickland. "The next six weeks is going to be a fight for the survival of public education and our members. We can save jobs, we will save jobs and we will lead the way."
Strickland committed NCAE’s entire organization to saving 12,000 jobs from elimination. She pointed out that the state’s tax structure ignores many of the new industries that are making huge profits off the paychecks of everyday North Carolinians without paying for roads, education and needed services.
"We will save these jobs and we will show our budget writers that it can be done with fiscal integrity and fairness," Strickland said. "We know it’s going to be painful for everyone, including our educators, but to eliminate jobs is compounding an already horrendous situation. If we’re not already in a depression, we will be."
Now More than Ever: Educator Wednesday Every Wednesday
The fight to save jobs continues. Please take the time to lobby your legislators in Raleigh on Educator Wednesday. Sign up with firstname.lastname@example.org one or more of the following dates:
May 27 ~ June 3 ~ June 10 ~ June 17 ~ June 24 ~ July 8 ~ July 15 ~ July 22 ~ July 29 Educator
Wednesday Begins at 9:30 a.m. NCAE reimburses 35 cents for mileage.
Collective Bargaining Day at the Legislature on May 26
You don’t have a contract, until you have collective bargaining. Support your right to collectively bargain for a real contract. For more information, click here. If you would like to attend the event, email email@example.com.
Brian Lewis, Lobbyist/Government Relations Specialist
North Carolina Association of Educators
700 South Salisbury Street
- Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
(919) 832-3000 or (800) 662-7924 extension 256 or (919) 413-2580 mobile
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