BYH: To the Confederates of the civil war. Today if they were in power there would be no race problems, or issues today....

Lawmakers in Raleigh neglect teachers and parents

Alison Killy

Alison Killy


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

I started my teaching career seven years ago to help shape the minds of young children and prepare them for their future. Over the years, I have watched countless young men and women chase their dreams to every corner of the world. I have personally witnessed the impact a quality education can have on a child’s mind, life and potential.

But over the last decade, I have also watched the amount of funding our state invests in public schools dwindle. I have watched parents struggle to be able to send their children to school with the tools necessary for them to succeed. And like thousands of other teachers in North Carolina, I too have struggled to provide the materials needed to educate young minds when the state refuses to provide those supplies. The question that we must all answer is, are we OK with this?

Are we OK with letting teachers, who are tasked with helping future generations of North Carolinians learn and grow, struggle to make ends meet? Are we OK with the fact that, adjusted for inflation, the lawmakers in Raleigh have cut classroom supply funding per student in half over the last 10 years? Are we OK with the fact that, even though our state’s economy has largely recovered from the recession that began in 2008, lawmakers still lack the desire and will to properly fund our children’s education?

It is frustrating that the lawmakers in Raleigh seem to think that handing out billions in tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires is more important than providing adequate funding for the tools needed to make sure our children can be successful and competitive in future global markets. In fact, the General Assembly now wants to give even more tax cuts to the top 1 percent through a constitutional amendment on the ballot in the upcoming midterm elections in November.

The most frustrating part of this whole equation is that lawmakers know who picks up the check they refuse to write. They know that teachers and parents will have to spend their personal money to make up for the General Assembly’s failure to fully fund our schools, but they do not seem to care. They seem willing to ignore everyone who does not fit their agendas — but I am here to tell them that teachers and parents are hurting. Our pockets are hurting from having to spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to provide classroom supplies for children in “free” public school. Our hearts are hurting to be reminded every year that our so-called leaders simply do not care about us.

Before I moved to my current job as an eighth-grade English teacher, I was at a Title 1 middle school. At this school, most parents often were in dire financial situations, so most of the burden of providing basic classroom supplies fell on the teachers. On an average year, I spent more than $200 just to provide basic necessities such as pencils, notebook paper, bandaids, tissues, cabinets, drawers, books, pens, expo markers and whiteboards. This was money that I knew I wouldn't get back from either the school or PTA, and was often money I could barely afford to spend — but it was a sacrifice I was forced to make either way.

Lawmakers’ lack of concern for students isn’t just “politics as usual,” but indicates a severe failure of our political and social system. Our children deserve better than weak excuses from lawmakers who seem to have forgotten how they got where they are. Our children deserve leaders who care about their future, and are willing to put their necks on the line to secure that future — but unfortunately that is not what they have. No, our children have leaders who care more about making political donors happy than securing the future of our state and country — and quite frankly, we’ve had enough.

Alison Killy is a teacher with Pitt County Schools. Progress North Carolina distributed her column.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Op Ed

January 23, 2019

In 1976, Gerald Ford won 15 percent of the black vote. That's the most of any recent Republican presidential candidate. In most elections, blacks give Democrats over 90 percent of their votes. It's not unreasonable to ask what have blacks gained from such unquestioning loyalty to the Democratic…

Walter Williams

January 23, 2019

At long last, we’ve learned who UNC Chancellor Carol Folt is, just in time to say farewell.

Folt’s impending departure — marking the second time in a matter of months that a top UNC chief cut ties with a reckless and feckless Board of Governors — made for a stunning bit…


January 22, 2019

After North Carolina lawmakers were sworn in for a new two-year term Jan. 9, their leaders had some unusually conciliatory words to share with House and Senate members.

Senate leader Phil Berger said he’s “hopeful now that we can put political battles behind us and find common ground in…

January 22, 2019

"Happy March for Life!" More than a few people said that to me as I arrived in Washington, D.C., for the annual pro-life rally in our nation's capital. The march actually consists of a few days of events. Initially a protest of the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, the march has…


January 22, 2019

For those of us who don't often get outside the cities — or very far beyond our own towns — North Carolina geography can be confusing.

Franklinton is in Franklin County, but the town of Franklin sits 300 miles west in Macon County. Meanwhile the town of Macon is in Warren County, not…

Colin Campbell

January 21, 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border would be "immoral." Instead, she favors something she calls a "technological wall." Another top House Democrat, Rep. James Clyburn, calls it a "smart wall."

Instead of building an actual physical barrier, Pelosi, Clyburn and other…

Byron York.jpg

January 21, 2019

Milton Friedman once observed that “nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.” To be sure, spending bills or regulations initially sold as limited responses to specific conditions often take on a life of their own. They create constituencies that receive funds or…

john hood.jpg

January 20, 2019

It was an extraordinary year.

No, that’s not boosterism by two of ECU’s biggest fans. It was a truly amazing year.

No question, 2018 was colored by the departures of our athletics director, a football coach and a basketball coach, a lot of change in one year. Follow those departures…


January 20, 2019

The Wall Street Journal

By now readers have heard that progressive luminary Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez supports a 70 percent top marginal tax rate, which she says will help finance a “green new deal.” Higher taxes on the rich is the stock socialist answer on how to pay for any project,…

January 20, 2019

The New York Times reports that in the days after President Donald Trump fired James B. Comey as FBI director, law enforcement officials became “so concerned by the president's behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests.…

321 stories in Op Ed. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 33
        Next Page»   Last Page»