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Opinion Letters Penny lost? N.C. joins the Lost Colony

I really have tried to see the other side of the coin, in this case a penny. I see NC education falling into a deep abysmal decline, due to a budget that caused a loss of professionals to meet the needs of everyone’s children. I see longer unemployment lines, and companies turning their backs on a state throwing their future away. I see faithful, NC educators, eventually, leaving this state to go to states that care about the children and the future. Whether you are a people person or a dollar and cents person or a blend of the two, it makes no sense, it makes no cents, because it is nonsense.

This is in a day and time when three years ago, not many people would stop to pick up a fallen penny (and many still will not). The estimated annual adult taxpayer cost for this penny tax is about $150, which is the same proportion for everyone: a penny to a dollar. Isn’t that what the extremists declare they want?

For the poor to pay the same proportionately as the wealthier! So those that make most of the total wealth will not be abused by the majority of the people that make the minority of the wealth! Well, when polled, 75 percent of North Carolinians say: “Go for it. Take my penny; by whatever means, save education!”

I am a lifetime N.C. citizen; I am totally embarrassed that such proposals exist as the proposed House budget and as the Sen. Stam’s darling, voucher bill, which is crouched down and hiding behind our exceptional children. How dare any elected official to vote against the best means of survival in a state! When our very economy, education, and corporate attractiveness depend on proper funding of public education, how can you consider such atrocities? If these proposals don’t fail to happen, justice in our democracy has been blinded in both eye, and the hope for our economy will have been bludgeoned!

As voters’ heads were swooshing with propaganda and as they looked for an instant solution to a problem that was caused by years of unbridled greed, they never signed up for losing their precious NC public education! Don’t tell us that you cannot afford to take care of the leader of the South’s educational policy, but you can afford to “tax credits” (vouchers), charter schools, home schools, etc. Vouchers are not educational best practices!

I resent our leaders assuming that the NC public is ignorant or dead with apathy. I believe that NC citizens are going to come forward in droves led by fired up parents and concerned citizens. Leadership is a trust to take care of the common good, not just sworn swaggers giving allegiance to tangential targets of special interests groups.

I do think at least one good thing will come from this type of anti-education, anti-intelligentsia legislative movement and I will be glad for this result. I believe nearly every parent will get out and vote at the next opportunity. Eventually, when more sensible, legislators are in control, resuscitation of NC education will be a phenomenally, expensive task, and this current group of legislators will be recorded as having made a historically negative impact on NC history.

Is the House trying to strangulate education so it can fail? Is this the strategy being used to eventually privatize schools? A plan to minimize educational funding will minimize its effectiveness. The people that survive such “classism” caused by the democracy’s diminished educational opportunities will by necessity have to live in fear. The lower economic classes will increase and be angry and starving outside the gates of the privileged; either that or they will eventually reside in jails that are costly to run.

Yesterday, the faculty at my school honored me by electing me Teacher of the Year for our school. What progress we have made in our team effort to help our diverse students if my efforts are appreciated that much: I am the school counselor.

Along with classroom teachers, assistants, bus drivers, et al, my professional specialty is slated to be cut.

The classroom effectiveness is affected by all positions in the schools. You can believe me. A number of parents have thanked me just this half of a week for critical interventions that our team has made on behalf of their children.

The failure of an unsupported, overcrowded classroom will be what is remembered about this legislature. Legislators, you will be held accountable by all NC citizens!

An intelligent person told me that the demeaning Polish jokes were made due to a dubiously written headline speaking of the intelligentsia escaping Poland when they were invaded. Of course, some wise guy thought that left only the unintelligent in Poland; let’s think though, did it leave the less fortunate and those with less of a network of choices? I do not want these types of jokes to be about NC. That would not be nice.

Cutting public education is the wrong change to make. It is like the legislature shooting NC in the foot and then laughing because it could not run!

Keep the penny tax. The colony was lost. Let’s not lose the state of NC!

Thank you.

Rena O. Sutton, MA Ed, NBCT, LPC
Adv. School Counselor Certified


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