Editorial: State Leaders Have Shirked Their Responsibility On Public Schools

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With election season in full swing, we're starting to see TV ads and mail pieces full of misleading claims. Republican lawmakers are claiming big improvements to public education, particularly per pupil investment and teacher pay, but the real numbers fall flat. When you account for inflation, we're investing less per students, and many teachers are taking home less. 

From the News and Observer editorial, 

This Election Day should be a day of reckoning for North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders who have shirked their responsibility and broken a long state tradition of strong support for public schools.

Instead of investing in the state’s children, instead of improving education as a way for poor children to escape poverty and all children to achieve goals, the Republican-led General Assembly has chosen to reduce state taxes, mostly to the benefit of the wealthy and big corporations. Billions of dollars in tax revenue that could have lifted North Carolina’s schools to new heights instead has been diverted into tax cuts that have produced no tangible results.

Republican lawmakers are acutely aware of their culpability in this choice, but instead of defending it or apologizing for it, they’re denying it. Even worse, they’re claiming credit forincreasing spending on public education. This is duplicity joined with sophistry, and it should stir the smoldering anger over the neglect of public schools into outrage.

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