As I read about the North Carolina legislature’s inability to prepare a budget and the N.C. Supreme Court’s decision to forget the Constitution and allow my tax dollars to pay for private religious schools, I stand in my overcrowded classroom and tape old textbooks back together and wonder whether there will be enough copy paper this semester to provide necessary materials for my students.
I am a veteran Wake County teacher, and I love working with the bright, wonderful students I have the privilege to teach, but the miserly, short-sighted actions of our legislature are steadily eroding the system I have been proud to serve for 23 years.
It is true that “you get what you pay for,” and our legislature seems willing to put public education on the clearance rack. Our children should not attend schools that cannot attract strong teachers, keep teacher assistants, nor provide up-to-date materials and programs, yet that is where we are heading under our current leadership.
Punitive measures such as severe budget reductions, eliminating teacher assistants and the voucher program are hurting our students. They are the future of our state and deserve better.