McCrory fixates on fountains as educators are left hung out to dry
Governor repeatedly takes credit for fixing Capitol fountains, but refuses to speak out on lawmakers’ plans to slash 8,500 teaching assistant jobs amid budget chaos
RALEIGH -- At a press conference in Raleigh on Wednesday, Gov. Pat McCrory brought up one of his favorite topics -- fixing the water fountains at the State Capitol complex. As he has done time and time again, the governor waxed poetic about his push to get the fountains working again after taking office.
One thing you won’t hear the governor talking about, however, is the chaos faced by local school districts caused by lawmakers’ failure to pass a budget on time. With school starting in a few weeks, districts still have no idea whether the General Assembly will end up firing over 8,500 teaching assistants -- and many districts have already started sending pink slips to TAs in anticipation of the proposed cuts.
"Teaching assistants are hung out to dry without a state budget that is more than a month late, but Gov. McCrory is still talking about fountains on the capital grounds that were fixed years ago,” said Gerrick Brenner, executive director of Progress NC Action. “When is the Governor going to realize that what voters want fixed is not his favorite fountain, but better support for public schools, students and teachers?"
“We noticed the two fountains in front of the capitol were broken and filled with trash and dirty water. They looked terrible. I asked why they were in such disrepair. I was told, ‘I don’t know, they’ve been that way for 5 years.’ We can no longer afford a culture of neglect and apathy. Turns out all the fountains needed was a little routine maintenance to get the water flowing again. Now, on any day, you can see people having lunch, reading a book or simply enjoying the day next to those beautiful, historic fountains.” -Gov. McCrory’s 2015 State of the State
“Anyone who has listened to him over the past two years knows it’s the little things that bug Gov. Pat McCrory: dry fountains, broken elevators, traffic jams.” -Raleigh News & Observer, February 2015
“Walking to his office in the old Capitol building, [McCrory] noticed outdoor drinking fountains were full of garbage and "hadn't been turned on in five years.’ He said he immediately had the fountains cleaned up and put back in service.” -Raleigh News & Observer, September 2014