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Etheridge sounds alarm over education reform efforts

Posted May 10, 2013

— Former Congressman Bob Etheridge said Friday that Republican-led efforts to reform North Carolina schools will only hurt students and teachers.

Education rally Group opposes GOP-led school reforms

Etheridge, a former state education superintendent, led a rally at Green Hope Park in Cary that he said was meant to sound an alarm and build opposition to bills winding their way through the General Assembly that would eliminate about 3,000 teaching assistants statewide, change eligibility requirements for North Carolina's pre-kindergarten program, allow state funds to pay for private school tuition and remove the cap on class sizes in elementary schools.

"Education reform is just another code word for cut, slash and burn," Etheridge said. "It's time for action. We cannot allow this to continue for our children. Make no mistake, our commitment to public education is on a downward trend."

People held up signs at the rally noting that North Carolina ranks 48th nationally in per-student spending – far below neighboring states – and 46th nationwide in teacher pay.

Jordan Shaw, a spokesman for House Speaker Thom Tillis, pointed out that it was a Republican budget last year that gave teachers their first raise in five years. He also called many of the legislative proposals "pragmatic education reforms," including one that would increase security at schools and invest more in classroom technology.

Shaw noted that some measures, such as the one allowing increased class sizes, likely would face opposition and change during the legislative process.

131 Comments

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  • driverkid3 May 13, 5:38 p.m.

    I am so glad I'm not considered "rich". The pure, unadulterated hatred and bitterness aimed at "the rich" is amazing, and to put it bluntly, is disgusting. I get the idea from some of these posts that anyone making $20.00 a week more than anyone else if rich and out pops the jealousy and hatred.

  • Plenty Coups May 13, 4:01 p.m.

    'Not true' - Plenty Coups

    Westernwake-"You better take a look at the national rankings from 1979 till now."

    Link? Where do you get that? NAEP tests (which all states have to take)have showed us solidly in the middle. As education continues to get cut here in NC, expect us to start dropping.

  • superman May 13, 1:15 p.m.

    rushbot There are probably dozens of people in this country who have a college education but no job. They dont need college educated at Burger King do they? The jobs are going to foreign countries. A person is very foolish to go into debt for a college degree and they have no means to repay the loan. But then there are govt giveaway programs that will pay for their eduction but I pay for. An education is like having a nice big car and no gas.

  • MadMaxx May 13, 1:11 p.m.

    Etheridge wwwwwwhhhhhooooooo.......... Hasn't he gone away yet, just cannot leave the public spectacle.

  • must b crazy May 13, 12:48 p.m.

    Outside of the 12 people who attended the "rally", nobody cares what Etheridge says. For a reason.

  • krimson May 13, 10:29 a.m.

    WestWake: "You better take a look at the national rankings from 1979 till now."

    Please tell us where you found this. Everything I've found, from ALEC to Education Weekly, shows NC firmly in the middle of the pack, at least in terms of Student Performance... Thanks!

  • CrewMax May 13, 9:48 a.m.

    "People held up signs at the rally ..." - How many attended? Wouldn't that be germane to reporting on a rally?

  • CrewMax May 13, 9:45 a.m.

    Better take Etheridge seriously when he speaks of education. That is what the question was about when he put the young man in an arm lock and got himself relieved of duty. He is a nut about his notions about education and his hatred of he republicans.

  • Crumps Br0ther May 11, 8:39 a.m.

    "It still takes a village to raise a child."

    Hpw about handling your own business instead of expecting other people to do it for you. Do you even know how anymore?

  • Crumps Br0ther May 11, 8:38 a.m.

    "Their voting base isn't interested in education, and the only way to guarantee a steady stream of Republican voters is to do away with an educated populace."

    Huh? Most educators are liberals, and the kids are getting dumber, there has to be a connection. they keep lowering the standards so all the kids pass and their self esteem wont be damaged, because thats whats really important. Your Participation Ribbons are LIES!

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