by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Red4EdNC has issued its own “declaration” a week before Independence Day.
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for the people of a state to confront a legislative supermajority that has consistently demonstrated over the course of seven years a hostility to the premise, the constitutional promise, and the provision of a high-quality public education for all, a decent respect to the citizens of that state requires a comprehensive list of the injustices that supermajority has inflicted upon its children and its teacher corps, as well as coherent vision for restoring that state to its former prominence as a leader in public education. We take as our standard, North Carolina’s proud motto: “Esse quam videri — To be rather than to seem.”
The three-page document includes talking points, demands, and euphemisms, e.g., “Cessation of tax practices which favor individuals over the collective good.” (Just admit that you want the government to impose massive tax increases.)
And, yes, they hate school choice. They write,
• They have shifted millions of dollars from support of traditional public schools to private schools. Schools funded by North Carolina taxpayer dollars via these “Opportunity Scholarships” or vouchers, do not require state accreditation, teaching qualifications, or regulated curriculum and may intertwine church and state at will.
• They have lifted the cap on charter schools and allowed municipalities to finance them with local property taxes, actions which have resulted in and will continue to worsen racial and economic segregation in our state.
They outline next steps in the concluding paragraphs of the document.
We, therefore, the assembled teachers of North Carolina’s public schools, representing almost all 115 Local Education Agencies in North Carolina’s 100 counties, appeal to the voters and the lawmakers of North Carolina to reverse the harmful course outlined above and restore our state to its former position as a national leader in public education.
To accomplish this end, we hereby call for a representative body of North Carolina Teachers to form with all deliberate speed. Once assembled, this North Carolina Teacher Congress will determine a course of action that will return us to the conditions to which we are accustomed – those that, when it comes to educational opportunity in our state, embrace the state motto: “Esse quam videri: To be rather than to seem.”
Read the entire document below.