RINO rage over DPI’s Johnson

I was a little lukewarm about Mark Johnson when I first met him during the 2016 primary campaign.  But since he’s been in office, he’s done a bang-up job of getting on the last nerve of all the right people.

Here’s the latest:

The fight over who is running North Carolina’s public schools remains unsettled, with both the State Board of Education and Superintendent Mark Johnson insisting they’re in charge.

Both sides claimed victory in a state Supreme Court decision released in June that upheld a 2016 state law transferring some of the state board’s powers to Johnson. In a statement released Monday night, state board chairman Bill Cobey accused Johnson of overstepping the court decision by working with legislators to pass a new law in June that strips the board of power to oversee the state’s public schools.

Despite the new law, Cobey says the board will continue to pass rules and regulations that govern Johnson’s ability to run the state Department of Public Instruction.[…]

Hmmm.  Disregarding the General Assembly and the state’s highest court.  *WHAT could possibly go wrong here?*


[…] Lindsey Wakely, chief of staff and legal counsel to Johnson, said in a statement Monday night that the state board should accept that it lost the lawsuit.

“Despite losing his lawsuit, Chairman Cobey appears determined to ignore the will of both the General Assembly and the Supreme Court of North Carolina and continue to waste taxpayer dollars on his frivolous lawsuit,” Wakely said. “The state of North Carolina and Mark Johnson won. Cobey lost.

“Mark Johnson will manage the N.C. Department of Public Instruction with the full authorities granted to the superintendent per House Bill 17.” […]

THAT is the way it is SUPPOSED to work.


[…] “The Superintendent turned to the General Assembly for new, top-down decision-making powers that would imperil our public school system,” Cobey says in the statement.

Hardy Lewis, Johnson’s attorney in the lawsuit, said that the superintendent didn’t request the new law. But Lewis said that Johnson did support it when he learned that it had been filed.

“Once the General Assembly has spoken on the issue and conferred authority, there’s limits to the oversight that the state board can exercise through rule making,” Lewis said.

But Bob Orr, an attorney for the state board, said his clients feel they need to respond because House Bill 374 would leave the board with no real authority over the state’s public schools.

“It will come to a head when the superintendent says, ‘I’m firing x and hiring y,’ and the state board says, ‘I don’t approve that,'” Orr said. “What happens next?”[…]

Wow.  That SOUNDS like the kind of stuff we elected Mr. Johnson to do.

This sounds like a victory for the voters and taxpayers.  Influence is being weaned away from a bunch of unelected folks that we can’t hold accountable at the ballot box, and is being transferred to someone we can vote on and hold accountable.

So, our crazy uncles Bob and Bill are miffed because they appear headed toward a constitutionally-based entity with no real power.  (Welcome to Dan Forest’s world.)