CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) has compiled a list of the top 10 things it believes the General Assembly values more than public education.
Educators have problems with the state's nearly $21 billion budget. It supplies no teacher pay raise, cuts funding for Teacher Assistants and less money for supplies and textbooks.
NCAE's number one reason why it believes politicians have forsaken education is: the organization says the budget provides a $41,000 tax break for the rich and NCAE says no breaks for teachers.
NCAE President Rodney Ellis says there was a reason to compile a list.
"To point out that public education is not receiving the attention," Ellis said. "That it really and rightfully deserves. The students aren't receiving the support and attention they deserve."
Lawmakers disagree. Sen. Phil Berger writes: "Despite fierce resistance and overblown partisan rhetoric from the left, we did exactly what millions of voters asked us to do."
House Speaker Thom Tillis writes: "We lived within our means to provide a fiscally responsible and economically sustainable budget, enacted a comprehensive tax reform plan to bring financial relief to all North Carolinians, and eliminated burdensome regulations to promote economic development in our state."
The 9th reason on the list states how the state's budget funds private schools with public dollars. NCAE believes that money could have helped teachers.
"They are frustrated," Ellis said. "And rightfully so, this budget - it takes everything and gives us nothing."
NCAE wants its top ten list to be a wake-up call for those who disagree with the budget. Ellis believes educators will have the last word when lawmakers run for re-election. He hopes voters don't forget this moment in time.
"As the time for the votes to come," Ellis said. "That they keep in mind what is happening to our state."
Teachers plan to rally in Raleigh Monday July 29th. Ellis says about 2000 people have signed up to come.
While the top ten list is getting plenty of likes on FACEBOOK, lawmakers are disliking it. They claim this budget will improve North Carolina's public schools, rebuild the state's economy and help with job growth and prosperity.
The list follows:
- Provides a $41,000 tax break to people earning over $1 million per year.
- Cutting taxes by over $600 million annually focusing on those who make over $250,000 annually while raising taxes on average teachers.
- Continuing a tax break on yacht sales while requiring teachers to spend more out of their pocket for school supplies.
- Allowing guns on school grounds.
- Funding opportunities for unlicensed, under prepared novices to begin teaching with little to no support while discontinuing pay increases for educators who seek masters degrees.
- Usurping local control of local assets, such as taking a major airport from a major city
- Suppressing the vote by passing restrictive voter identification programs, limiting voting hours, early voting, eliminating same day registration, and discouraging voter registration of students.
- Allowing charter schools to expand grade levels without having to seek approval from the State Board of Education.
- Funding private schools with little-to-no accountability measures in place to protect students and taxpayer funds.
- Requiring 7th grade teachers to discuss sensitive and scientifically discredited abortion issues with students.
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