Dems, GOP tussle over teachers

Posted May 12, 2011

House and Senate Democrats held a joint press conference today to denounce proposed GOP budget cuts to education spending.

The latest version of the budget moving through the Senate targets education for nearly $1.3 billion in cuts, spending less on schools than the House budget did. About $800 million of that would come out of K-12 education.

Democrats say cuts that deep would be disastrous, driving North Carolina to near-dead last in per-pupil spending in the entire country.

“I didn’t think it could get any worse, but it has,” said Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt. “This is not a fire drill. This is for real. The dismantling of the public school system has begun.”

House Republicans said their budget protected funding for classroom teachers. But school districts from Mecklenburg to Duplin to Guilford have already started telling teachers their positions are being cut.

“Layoffs are beginning, and the pink slips are coming,” said House Minority Leader Joe Hackney. “There is growing public anger about this. The public does not want this.”

The Democrats brought a guest to today’s press conference – Jennifer Tuft, a 30-year-old kindergarten teacher at Archdale Elementary near High Point. She was notified a week ago her position will be eliminated. A second teacher at her school and three assistants got similar notices, and she suspects more may be on the way.  Democrats on education cuts Democrats on education cuts

Because she’s tenured, Tuft would get priority if another position opens up in her county. But with all the cuts, she’s not convinced that will happen. And she’s not sure how she’ll provide for her three adopted children if it doesn’t. 

Tuft has 22 children in her kindergarten class. Eight are English Second Language students, two are ADHD. At least 10 have individualized educational plans. She has a teacher assistant most of the day. “I just couldn’t do it without her,” she said.

Meantime, Senate Leader Phil Berger told reporters yesterday he believes the proposed cuts will actually improve education. He says the GOP’s goal is to cut class size in K-3 down to an average of 15 students over the next 5 to 10 years.

“The studies seem to show there is no provable, discernable benefit from teacher assistants,” Berger said. “Smaller classes with a good teacher is the one thing that seems to work best.”


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  • Angel67 May 17, 2011

    THE REAL ISSUES ARE NOT BEING ADDRESSED. and yes you can come from a great home and turn out terrible, you can come from a bad home or no hame and turn out great. I subed at a high school for over 2 years and half the teachers there were terrible. My own kids suffered in their classes. I say weed out the bad teachers, tenure or not and our system will get better. those who felt the calling to be a teacher, you can see it in there kids. think of one teacher you knew in school who really cared about you. i have several, no matter the home life, you can be anything you want to be. as far as illegals, school should not even be a option, they are in this country by breaking the law, even kids, sorry but the parents should have to pay for their actions. do it the right way or don't do it at all.

  • 1 awesome Dad May 17, 2011

    Leadership qualities, integrity, faithfulness where are our leaders??

  • 1 awesome Dad May 17, 2011

    heaven help those kids that are in broken homes that need a little extra help who through no fault of their own suffer at the hands not only of a wayward parent but the elected officals that are in place to make sure they get the best education available. Shame on all of this. This kids arent parasites they are our future and they are going to determine some important decisions for communities and we are selling them short.

  • PoBoy May 16, 2011

    Folks, we can dump billions of dollars into our educational system and the outcome is still going to be the same... those that want to learn and have the support at home will learn and those that have no incentive to learn, won't! There is about 3 generations now of people in the US that have been learned to believe that they don't have to learn and that the government will take care of them. Until we as a country demand to our lawmakers to begin weening these parasites off of the social programs that have broken the back of this nation, we are going to continue the spiral downward. I see parents everyday that are actually jealous that their children have a better opportunity at more than they themselves grew up with and they inturn, hammer into their children, "you don't need that! You think you're better than me or something?" This is a dangerous mentality that we are dealing with. By the way, I am one of those other state employees that is suffering with no hope of any kind of incr

  • SARCASTICLES May 14, 2011

    Good luck in 2112, NCGOP.........;)

  • woodrowboyd2 May 13, 2011

    josephlawrence43 i agree with you but take it a step farther.
    being self employed i see almost daily these people bring their child to me to have them ask if i can fix their home or a/c.
    If they do not speak english where do they work and who hires a person they cannot comunicate with.These are the ones that have used our school system so their child can help them make a way in life in our country.
    I say if you live here be able to speak our language or go back where you are understood.
    This is America and our language is english LEARN IT.

  • woodrowboyd2 May 13, 2011

    We have given the school system every dime it has ask for and more and there still is no improvement.
    Seems money was not the answer and i am glad to see that they are now trying this.I dont like seeing jobs being lost but think of how much money we will save and even if the out come dosent change the system it will cost less to fund the failed goverment controled school system.
    This is a win for all taxpayers great or small.Iv always belived it was the mother and fathers job to feed their child before they went to school.Why do we as taxpayers have to feed them and who feeds them when school is out.Did any die when spring break was over and school started back.The fact is goverment has taken over the biggest job a parent has and thats to raise and feed the child they brought into this world.Ive seen many times a mother watching her child get on a bus then rushing to Mcdonalds to buy herself breakfast as she heads for work.
    Theres got to be something wrong with this picture.

  • 1 awesome Dad May 12, 2011

    Before it is all over I am going to be an illegal alien so maybe I wont starve to death like I am now thanks to my elected officals.

  • josephlawrence43 May 12, 2011

    Has anybody noticed how our elected "leaders" are more than willing to lay off thousands of north carolina citizens-teachers, state employees, etc. in an effort to balance our state budget? Has anybody noticed how silent these elected leaders are about the 300,000 illegal aliens in our state who receive--on an annual basis--approximately $1.3 billion dollars in taxpayer supplied entitlements, etc.?? Do any of them care that they are sacrificing our own people in order to protect these illegals?? Something is bad wrong here..