Protests staged as state House debates budget

Posted May 3, 2011

— Thousands of people fighting cuts to education spending in North Carolina's budget gathered on Tuesday in downtown Raleigh in hopes their voices would be heard in the General Assembly.

Gov. Beverly Perdue spoke to more than 2,000 people attending a demonstration organized by the state's main teacher's group, the North Carolina Association of Educators, as the state House was debating its spending plan for the year starting in July.

"Every work force in North Carolina wants an educated worker. Purely and simply, companies will stop coming here if mess like this goes on," Perdue said. 

The Democratic governor urged protesters to call legislators, who are primarily Republican after last year's elections.

"The budget cuts that they're proposing right now would devastate public education," NCAE Vice President Rodney Ellis said during the rally. 

Ellis said he fears layoffs could affect 20,000 positions statewide.

"I think a lot of misinformation has been put out there. I think the organization that hosted the rally today, NCAE, maybe even contributed somewhat to that misinformation," State Rep. Bryan Holloway, R-Stokes, said. 

Holloway said the Republican budget fully funds teacher allotments, and that it's up to individual superintendents to decide how their state appropriations will be used. 

Teacher Marcia Timmell fears for students. 

"Our kids are seriously at risk. They've had cuts for the last couple of years and we're already cut to the bone," she said. 


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  • cassiespurrier May 6, 2011

    I was a TA before becoming a teacher & I worked just as hard & had just as much impact. I spent my days helping each individual child while the teacher taught the class. What a great way to balance the budget...paying people to look for a job instead of paying them to do a job that matters.

    Special Ed costs very little at the hs level. Most SpEd is all in how the teacher teaches the class. It doesn't cost you any money for me to provide a wordbank for my SpEd students.

    Cutting administration means that there will be more for the teachers to do than ever. We already do an array of duties to help with our admin shortage.

    My day last Tuesday - Got up at 5, went to school early to make copies, taught three periods, lunch duty and hall sweep duty during my 30 minute lunch, scarfed down a frozen meal, taught another class, worked after school detention to make ends meet, rode to the rally, supported my job, got home at 7, graded papers til 10, slept til 5. Welcome to a teacher's life.

  • enchantedpines May 4, 2011

    One other thought - if you keep the 1 cent sales tax, that is paid by everyone. That sales tax would solve a lot of this and be paid for equitably.

  • enchantedpines May 4, 2011

    What did public school teachers do to deserve so much vitriol from some of you?

    Yesterday was a teacher workday in many school districts (being that the day is held out for when we have local elections in May and schools may be polling places). That's why the One Voice rally was scheduled for that day and did not even start until 4pm. Don't assume teachers were skipping out on their duties just weeks before state testing.

    Those of you griping about the expenses of special education have clearly never been party to an IEP meeting or the legal regulations that make special education the behemoth that it is.

    Also, private school does not guarantee a superior education. I have seen quite a few students transfer in from private schools and be behind their public school peers.

    Whether or not you feel education is a right, it is cheaper to educate a child than to give a prisoner three hots and a cot. Education is the one factor most likely to move children out of poverty.

  • jp11 May 4, 2011

    Why not do this. Take the entire budget. Divide that into the number of PEOPLE in NC. Send everybody a bill - equally. If you don't pay it, you go to jail! About $200 per person, maybe. You have eight kids - YOU PAY FOR THEM! You don't work - better get a job.
    Here's the TRUTH - THE POOR PAY NO TAXES AND USE ALL THE RESOURCES, THAT'S A FACT. Tend to your own. The US constitution DOES NOT HAVE THE WORD "EDUCATION RIGHTS" ANYWHERE. Neither should NC's. The decent parents send theior kids to private schools AND STILL PAYS FOR YOUR KIDS TO GO TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

  • jp11 May 4, 2011


  • esmommy13 May 4, 2011

    Reprensentative Holloway - by chance have you spoken to school districts to see how the cuts are going to affect them? My district is a small city school. We have lost over 100 positions due to the budget cut. This will not include money to buy the supplies needed to run the schools/classroom. I am a science teacher and already fund majority of our experiments. Please explain why you don't think the budget cut could possibly not lead to the loss of jobs through out the state hurting education and allowing more children to fall through the cracks.

  • for the people May 3, 2011


    so let me get this straight. you want to cut spending for lousy wasteful programs like education and attack spending all around. but, you want to enjoy all the tax expenditures (that are really spending just veiled under a nice name)? just asking.

  • babbleon May 3, 2011

    So let me get this straight; the Republicans want to cut the size of state government and allow the citizens of NC to keep more of our own money... Oh the HORROR! mstewarthds

    Yeah, they want to do this by cutting into public education. Hope the citizens of NC enjoy paying for private education. And don't mind that businesses don't want to come here because they can't find employees who can add.

    One reason businesses love NC is our highly educated work force. Note the 'educated' part. That would be public education, providing benefits to a lot of people, even those without kids.

  • mstewarthds May 3, 2011

    babbleon - "The Republicans want to CUT TAXES and to balance the budget after these cuts, they want to CUT SERVICES, namely education."

    So let me get this straight; the Republicans want to cut the size of state government and allow the citizens of NC to keep more of our own money, to do with it as we choose? Oh the HORROR! Is there ANY compassion in those hardened black hearts of our Republican legislators? GASP! Letting the citizens of keep more of what is rightfully ours?!?! How can they sleep at night is what I want to know.

  • babbleon May 3, 2011

    1) Your source *USES* my source - taxation rate is 9.8% of total income, we're about average (a little higher, but not much) for US states.

    2) Your source does not discuss who is responsible, though it does talk about where we spend the money - higher ed and Medicare. Are you advocating cutting Medicare?

    As to higher education: This has been a driver for the great economy and high-skill jobs that NC has enjoyed over the last 30 years. SAS, Red Hat - neither would have happened without NC State. RTP? Probably a no-go without the three universities.

    There may be room to cut (I don't have enough details to judge this), but we should be cautious and long-sighted here.