The Pilot parrots state Dem talking points …





It is ASTOUNDING how much the staff editorials in our thrice-weekly Pulitzer Prize-winning local paper mirror the rhetoric on MSNBC and the spin of the state Democrat Party.  The latest Pilot editorial  beats that dead horse about ‘extreme’ Republican budget cuts:

Actions have consequences.

The most notable action that the new Republican majority in the N.C. General Assembly has taken so far has been to whack billions out of the state budget — all in the name of easing the burden on employers and thus promoting “job creation.”

Now comes news of perhaps the primary consequence of all those extreme budget cuts: A total of 18,700 former government workers have lost their jobs, according to a recent report from the state Employment Security Commission.

Meanwhile, the number of employed people in the private sector has also declined, though not as dramatically. As the end result of this, the state’s unemployment rate, instead of going down as anticipated, is still inching upward. At last report, it hovered at 10.5 percent — above the national average.

To be fair, is probably true that many of those positions would have been cut earlier if it weren’t for a one-time infusion of stimulus money by the Obama administration a couple of years ago. In any case, legislative leaders shrug off any blame for the job losses, insisting that they are embarked on “creating an improved business climate.”

To some people of a conservative persuasion, the elimination of government jobs might not sound like that much of a problem. After all, doesn’t the whole idea of government jobs sound a bit — you know — socialistic?

Well, not exactly. The fact is that many, if not most, of those people who are now out of work were teachers in our public schools. Even before the current cuts, North Carolina’s per-capita spending on education was already near the bottom compared with other states. So now it has grown even worse.

Is having a woefully underfunded education system really a very good way to go about “improving the business climate” and attracting desirable employers, most of whom place quality of life for employees and their families high on their list of desirable factors? Not so much.

First of all, we’ve already covered what a sham this whole spin about Republicans firing teachers is.     The job losses associated with this latest budget are right in line with what happened when the Dems ran the show on Jones Street.

Second of all, how do you determine that we are underfunded?  Data from the 2000 census found that public schools spend — on average — $10 per student, while private schools spend only $5 per pupil.  Anyone who has compared performance standards of public school kids vs. those in private school will clearly see that lower per-pupil spending has no negative effects on private school student performance.

The public schools in Los Angeles, New York, and D.C. spend MORE per pupil than any other school systems in America.  All three of those public school systems are considered nightmares by most right-thinking people.  In education — just as in business — spending more money does not necessarily mean higher quality.

Go down to your local public schools central office and count the number of six-figure salaried bureaucrats who have absolutely no direct effect on your kids’ performance. How you spend money and manage your resources matters most.

1 thought on “The Pilot parrots state Dem talking points …

  1. Yes, what we need to do is to slash the overhead of expensive and useless administrators. If we really want to reduce the costs of education around the state and nationally, then we need to do as the music and book publishers are doing, and take advantage of the efficiencies of the digital revolution. By that, I am referring to digital textbooks, smart boards, and online learning. There is no reason why students in public schools cannot access their textbooks at home or in the library on a computer or IPAD, study new concepts that have been produced by the teaching staff in small, short video lectures, and save time in the classroom having to take every student through every aspect of a subject. This is no longer necessary and the costs savings can be staggering.

    What is the hold-up? Well people and bureaucracies hate to change. They want to maintain the status-quo. I teach as an Adjunct at a campus of the North Carolina state University system, and I can tell you, even 40 year-old professors say, give me my blackboard (physical that is) and want to continue to “lecture” the same material and in the same way that they have done for 10 or 15 years. College costs, as well as middle and high school costs are too high today, and they can be reduced, but only by undertaking fundamental change in the way we deliver education. Thanks goodness, that North Carolina is not strongly unionized as are many northern states as this has also become a hinderance to change. We can do this and greatly improve the quality of the educational experience for our children. wmw

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