Years ago, I served on the board of a religious institution. At the annual meeting, we presented a budget to the membership that included an increase in the amount of the preschool line item. An older member vehemently objected stating that the preschool should be self-sufficient. I button-holed the President during this rant and told him that if I ever forgot that the very reason for our existence was to educate a new generation, he had my permission to tell me it was time to leave town.
If all of our children are not well educated and loved, none of us will thrive. America is both a country of rugged individualists and a caring community. To the sad, selfish, short-sighted people leading a campaign to vote no on the Wake County School Bond, I say, start packing.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Please take a few minutes out of your day to email President Obama. Tell him not to give in to the bullying and lying by the Republican Party about the Affordable Health Care Act. These people are willing to shut down the government because of their irrational hatred of Barack Obama. Our soldiers won't be paid! Hardships on the poor and senior citizens has already been institutionalized.
Don't be fooled. This is no longer only about Tea Party Extremists. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, has just led his House Republicans to vote to delay Obamacare by one year.
It takes a special kind of selfishness to want to deny Americans access to health insurance coverage. Especially when those same Americans are paying for the health care of these very hypocrites.
Human beings in the United States of America should not have to choose between buying food or taking their children to the doctor. And getting cancer should not mean bankruptcy.
Republicans want government to fail. They want President Obama to fail. They want their wealthy campaign contributors and cronies to keep getting lucrative government contracts and jobs while the poor and middle class languish.
No more lies! Tell the President to stay the course.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
I just bought my first - and last - ticket for the NC "Education" Lottery. Not because it was a stupid waste of $1.00. Not even because the woman at the drug store told me that she sells $800 worth of tickets to folks on a regular basis. But, because on the ticket, under the number "4", the word is spelled "f-o-r".
It has never been about education. All the warnings of supplantation of the education budget have come true. Me? I'm a stickler for proper spelling.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
It may be apocryphal, but I've always loved this business school case study for its simplicity. After sitting through a seemingly endless strategic planning meeting to come up with a new mission for the company, the CEO of Perrier allegedly shot to his feet screaming, "Sell More Perrier!"
Charlotte-area legislators, dean will study N.C. teacher pay-Charlotte Observer, 9/12/13
The brain trust at the NCGA that wrote the state budget this year--you know the one, it was devastating to teachers and public education - have created a committee to advise them on teacher pay. Does anyone else want to shout, "Pay Teachers a Living Wage!!"?
There is just a little more advice I would offer, without the benefit of a Committee Room, microphone or gavel.
1. Do not fire teachers.
2. Do not fire teacher assistants.
3. Do not dismantle the NC Teaching Fellows Program.
4. Do not raise the limit on class size.
5. Do not remove the small bump in pay for teachers who earn advanced degrees.
6. Do not require teachers to pay for their own substitutes.
7. Do not stop paying for teachers to earn National Board Certification.
8. Do not provide taxpayer money to private and religious schools for children whose parents can afford the tuition on their own.
9. Do not lift the cap on the number of charter schools and then remove any accountability by their leaders.
10. Do not keep saying that this budget gave more to public schools than ever before, because the facts say otherwise.
Oh wait. The NC GOP majority has done everything listed above. You do not need a committee. You need to restore the budget cuts. Or just admit that your idea of education public policy is to destroy public education completely.
Monday, July 15, 2013
Friday, July 12, 2013
It should come as no surprise that Gov. Pat McCrory announced he will sign the abortion bill into law. His campaign promise not to allow further restrictions on abortion was a lie. His threatened veto of the Senate bill was a lie because he had made a deal with Skip Stam before it was written.
Same stuff. Different day.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
In typical fashion, the Republicans believe that the Affordable Care Act is still up for debate. Speaker of the House John Boehner continues to refer to it as a bill even though it became law 3 years ago. With every one of the 37 votes the Speaker has taken to repeal Obamacare, he looks ever more the stubborn ideologue. Progressives need to draw this discussion to a close, once and for all. And, Mr. President, you ought to take the lead. Stop the debate. Speak loudly and clearly and get angry.
We are in the implementation phase. Of course, implementation is more difficult because the NC Republican majority in the Legislature and the Republican Governor have steadfastly - and selfishly - refused federal funds to expand Medicaid and to create health care exchanges that will offer cheaper alternatives to our people. The law has already helped parents of college students to keep them on their policy. Denying insurance because of a pre-existing conditions will be a thing of the past.
Democrats need to proudly exclaim that they brought health insurance to millions of Americans. All Americans. Even the nasty and uninformed who surely need coverage like the rest of us. Health care is not a privilege, it is a right.