Got $17 — um — $14? I wanna BUY a teacher.






North Carolina governor-wannabe Bobby “BOOM BOOM” Etheridge wants to put an end to a travesty —   little kids having to raise money in order to BUY teachers: 

Some listeners raised their eyebrows when gubernatorial candidate Bob Etheridge mentioned in Monday’s debate that his grandchild’s first-grade class was being asked to raise $17 per child to pay for a new teacher.

Etheridge’s campaign later corrected the amount to $14 per child, but the thrust of the statement was clear: Parents shouldn’t be asked to ante up to add teachers to public schools. The candidate’s granddaughter attends Aldert Root Elementary, said his son, Brian Etheridge.

“That should not happen in North Carolina,” Bob Etheridge said during the debate.

But does it REALLY HAPPEN?  Should we entrust someone — who uses a 6 year old as his primary source — with our state’s highest office? (Actually, I am surprised that ANYONE who has seen THIS VIDEO would let their kids near Boom Boom.)
My friend’s six year old daughter explained to me how the Easter Eggs get into her house on Easter Morning:  Apparently, her stuffed bunny comes to life and “poops’ them out all over the house.   A six year old said that.  Is it now fodder to be used in future political debates?

Let’s look at the logic of the claim.  If each child, in a class of 20, brings $17 to school — THAT’S ONLY $340. Who is going to teach public school for a whole year for $340 cash?  Read on:

Parents and supporters at several Wake County schools have raised money to pay for teachers in recent years. A News & Observer analysis before the current school year showed that foundations, parent-teacher groups, individuals and companies gave as much as $21 million annually to Wake County Public Schools. Schools with low-income populations got much smaller slices of the pie.

Critics of Wake County’s new student assignment plan, which is based on parental choice, have said it’s likely to create more “have and have not” schools.

The foundation that supports Root gave more than $68,000 to pay teacher salary supplements, federal tax records show. Also, the school’s PTA gave nearly $40,000 for classroom supplies, according to its 2011 federal filing.

Wake County records show that 26.7 percent of children at Root received free or reduced price meals in the past school year, a figure below the elementary school average of 35.4 percent. Efforts to reach a representative of the Root Foundation were unsuccessful.

This is a LOT different from what Boom Boom was trying to sell us.  It sounds like parents in the community are banding together to create the best environment possible for their kids, and save some tax money.  (Though, the tax money saved was likely blown somewhere else by the six-figure bureaucrats in Raleigh.) 
Instead of screaming about needing MORE tax money thrown at public education — demonstrate specific needs for specific amounts of money — just like a lot of us have to do every day in our businesses.  If we do need to hire more teachers — maybe we could layoff a bunch of DPI and central office bureaucrats making six figures — who have NO DIRECT IMPACT whatsoever in day-to-day classroom activities.
Micromanagement of education money by the state is crazy.  Systems are given money and are told that it can ONLY be used for construction.  If the local system needs more personnel, but no more buildings, that is too bad.  They can’t take that money from the construction line item and put it toward people.
If someone demonstrates a true need for more money in public education, let’s introduce some budgeting reform in Raleigh and DC that allows money to be shifted around to areas where it is truly needed.  Shaking more tax money out of us is out of the question.  Most of us are bled dry.  Government needs to live under the same constraints we have to on a daily basis.