Former Gov. Jim Hunt’s Sept. 21 Point of View “ Let’s show real respect for teachers” nailed the truth on disrespect for public education.
I’ve known Hunt since he was at N.C. State in the late 1950s, and no one has maintained a commitment to public education excellence more than he. But where is public education leadership today?
Twenty years ago, our Council of UNC Alumni honored five living governors (Hunt, Jim Martin, James Holshouser, Kerr Scott and Terry Sanford) for their support of public education in the televised opening of the North Carolina Museum of History.
We’re not seeing education leaders like that today. Here’s a shocking fact: For the first time in history, none of North Carolina’s three highest elected officials (Gov. Pat McCrory, Senate Pro Tempore Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis) ever attended any UNC system school. They missed some state culture beyond going to the UNC-ECU football game last weekend. Of course, former Senate Pro Tem Marc Basnight did not attend, either, but he loved public education, and our council made him an honorary UNC System Alumnus in 2000.
Our current leaders are heading in the opposite direction. The litany of education slights are legion with no honorary awards in sight. We’ll take our suppressed voting rights to the polls.
Robert P. Kennel