For entertainment value Tall Tales can't be beat. However, do we really want to vote on the basis of Tall Tales that are totally separate from reality? Vic Drummond recently wrote such a Tale in a letter to the editor. Every Tall Tale needs an evil villain so that would be me and the N.C. Department of Public Education in Drummond's Tale about how to justify cutting over a billion dollars in education funding and eliminating thousands of teaching jobs. It is interesting when a Republican points out anything that could possibly adversely affect a citizen, the Republicans paint themselves as the protectors of truth, justice, and the American way. When a Democrat points out something so important to every citizen as the inadequate funding of public education, the Democrat is labeled a “liberal partisan” that engages in “political hyperbole.”
Drummond lists a whole page of education related budget statistics which to his credit are accurate. He then gets to the inevitable bottom line that to quote the Department of Public Education, “The 2011-13 biennial state budget that was passed by the General Assembly in June 2011 contained more than $l billion in cuts to public school funding” (www.ncpublicschools.org/budget). Now Drummond does not even attempt to say that it is untrue that the teachers and students in N.C. will be faced with having over a billion dollars less in funding, he tries to blame the N.C. Department of Public Instruction for doing something called “creative budgeting” whatever in the world that is. He acknowledges that N.C. uses the same standardized budgeting process as the federal government (and of course the Republican- controlled House of Representative is primarily responsible for the federal budgeting process).
When my three sons were young children and they were caught with their hands in the cookie jar, they would say “lt wasn't me it was the one armed man" which they got from an old movie. The Republicans have been caught raiding public education funds for our students and teachers and they are trying to blame it on someone, anyone else. I’m OK if Drummond wants to portray me as the evil villain for just passing on public information about the actions of our General Assembly and our N.C. Senator, Jim Davis, in making such disastrous cuts to our public education system. However, I believe the real heroes in this story will turn out to be the citizens of Western N.C. because they are smart enough, wise enough, and concerned enough about the future of our children and grandchildren that they will not be fooled by charges of “creative financing.” They will use their power of the vote to holding elected officials responsible for their actions. I believe they will vote into office Judge John Snow who will protect our Public Education System in N.C.
Ed Morris, Chairman Macon County Democratic Party