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Chris Fitzsimon: Playing politics with education

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House Speaker Thom Tillis made a startling statement Wednesday in his Rocky Mount town hall meeting, responding to a question about a local school superintendent worried about the effect of budget cuts on his system.

Tillis said that superintendents were “playing politics.” That is quite a claim, that people in charge of making sure children across North Carolina receive the sound, basic education the state constitution guarantees them are putting political considerations ahead of what is best for their students.

But it is not the first time Tillis and his Republican colleagues have made it, as they desperately try to deflect the blame for the damage their budget is inflicting on public education across the state.

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Hi Thom, just thought you might want to peek into one of the classrooms you are responsible for. My smallest seventh grade class has 32 students. Electives have been cut until there are 80 kids in PE. DPI has started changing us to the "common core" curriculum which means our text are obsolete but there is no money for new text. We have no in school suspension and alternative schools have been cut until we are only allowed 8 slots per day per school. Not to bad unless you have more than 8 kids that are disruptive. (and what in the hell were you all thinking by changing the law allowing kids that bring knives to school to return after 5 days...stupid) The fact is that there is a big lie being carried out by you and yours. Teaching positions were not actually cut but teachers who retired or were in a position to quit had those positions eliminated. Result larger class sizes. You deceive the public and call it a political victory. only for you and yours. 20% more work load, 3% inflation, and pay frozen for the past three years with no relief in sight. I hope your staff enjoys their raises as we suffer.

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