“Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”(Sir Walter Scott)
Senator Jim Davis’s letter to the editor in the May 2, Smoky Mountain News disputes remarks made by Ed Morris’s April 25th letter in the Smoky Mountain News. Dr. Morris wrote that Sen. Jim Davis wrote that teaching jobs had been fully funded. To quote Davis - “What he (Ed Morris) heard me say is the present state budget funded 2,100 more K-12 teaching jobs than the previous budget…” Davis also blames the 800 fewer teaching jobs on the loss of federal stimulus money. I don’t know what Dr. Morris may or may not have heard Senator Davis SAY. However, in a letter in June 6, 2011, Franklin Press, Senator Davis wrote “The 2011-2012 budget funds all teachers and teacher assistants.” In guest commentary in the September 18, 2011, Asheville Citizen Times Senator Davis wrote “It is a fact that teachers and teacher assistants were fully funded in the new state budget.”
Loss of federal funding is just one piece of the story regarding cuts in education funding. Dr. Dan Brigman, interviewed in the May 3, Macon County News, states Macon County has joined 48 other school districts passing a resolution to “plead” with lawmakers to eliminate the annual discretionary reversion from the school system budget. Last year Macon County schools were forced to send $1.26 million back to Raleigh. This amount is expected to be higher for the next school year.
This sleight of hand makes it appear that the General Assembly is not cutting education. Local school districts must make hard decisions about what to eliminate. Chris Murray’s letter in the May 4 Franklin Press, states “Decades of Democratic control of the government in Raleigh resulted in being in debt and out of touch with where the money came from (us).” The facts demonstrate where our local education money is going to Raleigh. The Republican controlled state legislature will spend it elsewhere. Previously, Senator Davis joined other legislators voting to eliminate the penny sales tax. Most North Carolinians supported this tax used to help fund public education. Republican sponsored legislation, crippling public education and attempting to pass the voter I.D. bill, discriminate against the poor, our youth and the elderly. Principles of justice and equal opportunity don’t apply here.
Disagreements over facts and policies are part of the democratic process. Derogatory slurs on your opponent, unrelated to the issues, dishonor the process and demean the person making the remarks.
Margery Abel — Franklin, N.C.