Local Politics

Senate Republicans propose changes in early education

Posted May 19, 2011
Updated May 20, 2011

State Senate Republicans want to change the face of early education as part of their revised spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger says the current education system isn't working, and he is proposing various changes in state budget allotments for education.

The ideas that Berger is touting include cutting teaching assistants in all grades but kindergarten, reducing class size in grades 1-3, paying teachers based on performance rather than seniority and eliminating five teacher work days to add five days to the school year.

At a roundtable discussion with educators and business leaders Thursday morning, Gov. Bev Perdue said she is interested in seeing the Senate's latest target, which cuts education by more than $1 billion yet reduces class size in grades 1-3.

"You've got have resources to do any of that, so I wonder where the money is coming from," she said.

Senate Republicans propose changes in early education Senate Republicans propose changes in early education

Perdue proposed keeping 0.75 percent temporary sales tax in place to help pay for education, but Berger says Republicans will keep their campaign promise of not raising taxes and allow the tax to expire at the end of June.

"Throwing more money or scoring things based on how much money you're throwing at the current system seems to us to be wrongheaded," Berger said.

"What we think is important is what you're doing with the dollars you have and are those dollars being targeted to improve student outcome," he added.


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  • sowhat May 27, 2011

    @ Spirit Warrior- If you spent some time in an elementary classroom, you would know exactly what a teacher assistant does all day. Teachers didn't have them years ago, but teachers also didn't have to assess students at the drop of a hat. Once you finish assessing all of your students, it's practically time to begin assessing the first one again. You try conducting an assessment that can only be done one-on-one with a 6 year old and see what the other 20 kids are doing while you are busy. And then add to that the endless documentation teachers must complete. For every student who is having trouble in a subject, you must complete a 5-8 page document detailing how you will help that child and recording all of their assessment data. We have paper and pen assessments and online assessments and it all must be done, graded and recorded within specific timeframes. In addition, we must plan lessons and teach the standard course of study. Teachers in the past just TAUGHT.

  • Plenty Coups May 20, 2011

    "Hopefully holding the state accountable based on actual progress"

    Been there. Done that. Thats why we have all these EOGs/EOCs that occupy the last month and a half of school. Mysteriously, the incentive pay for this "accountability" was cut years ago. Why would this time be any different? Why would teachers back something when the state hasn't kept its word about bonuses (incentives) or even regular pay?

  • chevybelair57sd May 20, 2011

    Hopefully holding the state accountable based on actual progress instead of hype will end our liberal habits of throwing money at popular agendas just to get reelected. I await the trickle down to local government tho to see if this culture of accountability actually saves us taxpayers money.

  • PurlsOfWisdom May 20, 2011

    Cutting teacher workdays is a mistake. I know many folks (including, apparently, this senator) think they are "goof off" days, but they are essential to getting the job done and prepare for the next grading period. I believe Republicans are trying as hard as they can to hasten the decline of education -- a poorly educated populace is easily manipulated -- and privatize education for the elite who can afford it.

    It's the only thing that makes sense if you put all the cutbacks, rule changes, and ideological rhetoric together. The bigger picture in the right-wing blogosphere is eye opening, if you care about education for all Americans.

    If you know a teacher, take the time to ask them about all this.

  • ljohnson247 May 20, 2011

    Who was in charge for many, many years, uh, the Dems. If they were giving the money to education because they were for eduction things would be different, but it was not for eduction, it was for their number one job - GET RE-ELECTED. There some be something in place that grades the teachers, not just end of year test scores.

    RB said it all. Take to heart what she said.

  • whocares May 20, 2011

    It seems to me that people bought into all the lies that the candidates were spewing. As my dad used to say "you get what you pay for" or in this case vote for. If more people would think for themselves instead of listening to people tell them what they should do, we would all be better off.

  • sillywabbitthepatriot May 20, 2011

    "to fund their radical social agenda"

    Quit your fear mongering.

  • nighttrain2010 May 20, 2011

    Well they could just institute a lottery, that'll solve all our money problems or so politicians have said...oh wait....

    The amount of money that the state of North Carolina has thrown (or promised to throw after raising taxes, 'giving' us a lottery, etc.) at education in the past 10 years is staggering. Now either that money has been wasted, not reached who it was supposed to reach, or both. Because education in just a decade has gotten worse.

    With the amount of money education, and roads through the gas tax, has 'received' by government standards ( R or D) we should have the most educated citizenry in the world driving on roads paved with gold.

    As that is NOT the case perhaps we should look at the overall picture instead of expecting government to always provide the (broken before it's out of the box) solution

  • LambeauSouth May 20, 2011

    Wow!!! Keeping a campaign promise. No wonder the liberals hate them.keepinit
    Really? exactly where are all of those Jobs? Oh I know
    they have no idea, they have more pressing matters, like
    taxing us for the tune of 7 million for re-educating woman on abortion or as I like to call it the 24 hour waiting room!

  • LambeauSouth May 20, 2011

    That's the problem. Too many people vote for the party and not for the person.rb

    I agree, but here is the kicker..........THEY ALL LIE
    so who do you believe? GOP rans on Jobs? Have you seen any?
    Have you even seen or heard them discuss it?