FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 27, 2017
CONTACT: Bob Harris ([email protected])
It’s no secret the NCAE and liberal school administrators hate Republicans and will do anything to try to get their Democrat friends back in power. They found a way to oppose one of the largest pay raises North Carolina’s teachers have ever seen, just because Republicans made it happen. Maybe we’re giving the unions too much credit, but the current trap they’re setting could cost reformers their super majorities in the Legislature if they aren’t careful.
Here’s the background: For years, school administrators have lied to the public about class size. Legislators have funded class size at ratios of 1:16 – 1:18 in K-3 for years. And the educrats have touted the benefits of lower class size as the funding associated with it poured in to their coffers. But there was a dirty little secret: All across the state, the educrats sneakily used an administrative trick to pay for things other than reducing class size. So very few, if any, K-3 classes had 17 kids. They usually had more like 20 to 25 kids.
Last year, after two years notice, reform-minded lawmakers took away the loophole that allowed administrators to cheat the system and to cheat taxpayers and their children out of the small class sizes they were funding and expecting.
Now, administrators are screaming like kids caught with their hands in the cookie jar – demanding legislators “fix’ this problem and the “unintended consequences” that “legislators created.” They’re even threatening to fire all the PE and Art Teachers in the public schools.
Not so fast. The administrators created this problem by gaming the system and not following the law on class sizes. But what reformers really need to watch out for is the liberal administrators and unions’ “solution” to this so-called problem:
The educrats want Republicans to vote to raise class sizes. They’re not telling Republicans about the TV ads and mail pieces on overcrowded classrooms they’ll be sending into their districts – with big Union money – when the next election comes.
And they certainly aren’t telling Republicans about the bigger, more devastating political hits accusing the reformers of firing teachers. You see, if you raise class sizes, you need fewer teachers. In the political campaign world, funding fewer teachers means you fired them.
So before reform-minded legislators rush to rescue education bureaucrats from a mess the bureaucrats made, they need to think about how they’re going to deal with the political trap being set for them. And think about how voters will react to a flood of advertising saying Senator Smith voted to increase class sizes in K through third grade and fire thousands of educators.