Fighting on behalf of public schools apparently has a political cost, as the Republican-led General Assembly demonstrated with its despicable early-morning action to punish members of the N.C. Association of Educators. By orchestrating a veto override in the dark of night, House Speaker Thom Tillis successfully retaliated against the teachers organization as he pledged in June he would do.
Just as it was wrong for Democrats to use underhanded political maneuvers in 2005 to approve a lottery, it was cowardly for Republicans to use absences to exact political retribution against public school teachers. GOP leaders have since argued that state voters do not care if such tactics are used, and it is up to those same voters to remember this betrayal and to prove them wrong.
As the Legislature readied debate on a Republican budget proposal in May, thousands of North Carolina public school teachers gathered across the street to protest deep cuts to education spending. They feared the loss of teachers assistant positions and support staff that would make a difficult job even harder, though GOP lawmakers dismissed their opposition as unfounded.
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