This was the message that our state Republicans and Senator Davis ran on last November. I ask you now, how much legislation did we see come out of Raleigh to bring jobs back to North Carolina? Friends, there was no legislation passed through the General Assembly. In fact, while the national unemployment rate fell to 7.2 percent last month, 44 counties in North Carolina saw unemployment rise above 10 percent, 8 of those being in Western North Carolina. Instead, the State Legislator spent their entire session pushing radical legislation through the General Assembly. The biggest blow to our state was found in the new budget, where education saw a cut of almost half a billion dollars.
Education is the single largest priority in our North Carolina state budget. It seems now though, that the General Assembly doesn’t have our teachers and students in their best interest. Instead, teacher pay will remain close to the bottom of national averages, almost 4,000 teacher assistants will be laid off, and the pay increase for earning a Masters Degree will be eliminated. Now instead of public funds being directed to public schools, it will be funneled into “scholarships” that will directly benefit private schools. At a time when North Carolina is 48th in per pupil spending, we should not be taking money out of public schools, but back in them.
We must all stand against this radical takeover of our state. Call Senator Davis and tell him that you oppose the undercutting of our public school system. Engage in this conversation in your community and make sure people know who is to blame, because next November we have to be ready to fix the North Carolina that this General Assembly has given to us.
Samuel Wallace — Franklin, N.C.