by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Republicans addressed the class size issue by delaying implementation of the reductions and sending more taxpayer money to school districts for elective teachers. They also announced a plan to eliminate the waiting list for state-funded preschool programs.
But these measures will not satisfy an education establishment who is working mostly on behalf of Democrats to regain seats in the N.C. General Assembly.
Looking ahead, teacher pay will become an issue when the National Education Association releases their annual Rankings and Estimates report. If the state does not make satisfactory progress on this year’s ranking, the establishment will call on lawmakers to pour more money into teacher salaries.
Moreover, the release of the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores for fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math may reveal shortcomings that our current reform strategy is not equipped to address.
Finally, we’ll continue to hear complaints about “insufficient funding” for instructional materials, teacher assistants, and technology. Legitimate complaints about school facilities may also arise.
The bottom line is that the education establishment will not pack up their protest signs, retire their hashtags, and retreat to their richly-appointed offices. There is too much at stake politically.