Editorial: Politicians in Raleigh Lack Leadership
The Greenville Daily Reflector has joined the chorus of newspapers editorial boards around the state in condemning the ongoing budget delays. They cite the firings of TAs in Pitt County among the harmful effects of the delays and the reckless education proposals.
Educators locally and statewide have by now scratched the L-word from their students’ civics vocabulary lists as their first week is well underway without decisive action from state legislators on spending levels for the new school year.
The ironic part is that this L-word — of all words — is most central to what should have been happening all summer in Raleigh — but there has been little sign of it.
The news from the hallowed halls came this week that state House and Senate members likely will not agree on a budget and approve it in time to make their already extended deadline of Aug. 31. Some insiders are saying it could be after Labor Day before the state knows how much money it plans to spend and on what.
This parliamentary tommyrot is becoming critically noxious for schools and classrooms because a central sticking point in budget talks is funding for education, specifically for teacher pay, driver’s education and teaching assistants.
Here in Pitt County, school officials already have laid off 11 teaching assistants and left 14 vacant positions unfilled because the temporary budget resolution now in place hasn’t the funding for them. The Senate version of the new budget, which seems to have the less rocky road to acceptance, is even more drastic, cutting nearly 8,600 TA positions statewide, although it reportedly would add 2,000 to teacher rolls, ostensibly to reduce class sizes.