(UnitedVoice.com) – North Carolina is one of those odd states with a Republican legislature and a Democratic governor. Recently, the GOP gained a supermajority in Congress when a Democratic lawmaker switched parties, allowing them to override vetoes. They are taking advantage of their new power by pushing their agenda through the state government, but Governor Roy Cooper (D) is furious.
On May 22, Cooper made a special address to residents and declared North Carolina was facing a state of emergency in its schools. The governor accused the Republican legislature of trying to “choke the life out of public education.” He went on to say he was taking the measure so he could get his message out to residents.
The GOP legislature is planning to choke the life out of public education, and you need to know what’s happening. Watch Gov. Cooper's special address on public education. pic.twitter.com/QVkXpLhDu2
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) May 22, 2023
Cooper outlined the GOP policies he was taking issue with, including a school voucher program. According to him, Republicans are trying to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on private schools that won’t be held accountable to the public. He claimed that even millionaires will qualify for school vouchers. Conservatives passed House Bill 823 and Senate Bill 406 to expand access to private schools across all income brackets. Rep. Tricia Cotham (R), the former Democrat, stressed the expansion was “important” because “[e]ducation is not ‘one size fits all.’”
Cooper is also angry about a teacher shortage and what he believes is the GOP’s failure to give them appropriate pay. In his declaration, he said the state is short 5,000 educators and said lawmakers only want to give them an extra $250 spread over two years.
Finally, the governor accused lawmakers of trying to “inject their political culture wars into classrooms” with bills that micromanage what educators are teaching, put politicians in charge of curriculum, and allegedly target LGBTQ+ students.
Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) responded to the governor’s allegations through a spokesperson who said “publicity stunts” aren’t going to “improve educational outcomes.”
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