Editorial: GOP makes hollow attacks against NCAE president
Politicians in Raleigh tried to shame the President of the N.C. Association of Educators for being on "educational leave" and continuing to build his pension, despite it being normal practice for years in our state. However, as the News and Observer editorial reminds us, these lawmakers have no credibility when it comes to public education, making these attacks hollow.
Sen. Chad Barefoot of Wake County is one of those saying Rodney Ellis shouldn’t be allowed to work for NCAE, which reimburses his Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school district for his salary and benefits, and still build his retirement.
But Barefoot and others who are after Ellis have made something of a cause of attacking public school teachers, so their motives are suspect.
In other similar arrangements, advocates for private groups get to participate in the excellent state retirement plan: Employees of the N.C. League of Municipalities and the N.C. Association of County Commissioners also are members of the system. And let us not forget that Barefoot and other lawmakers also have a nice little pension set-up for part-time work.
State Rep. Larry Hall, a Democrat, has a better idea. Rather than make teachers, and Ellis, the focus, why not review all leave and benefit policies? Maybe, for example, it’s a stretch to have the League or the county commissioners’ association in the state plan.
If such a study happens, watch how quickly Barefoot and others are encouraged to back off when they’re up against strong lobbying groups.
The NCAE is a perfectly legitimate group, hardly an old-fashioned labor union, and it does good work. But because some in the group dared to criticize lawmakers for their funding cuts to public education, GOP leaders are out for payback.