Friday, June 27, 2014

NC Legislature Shows Love for Charters & Hostility to Traditional Public Schools

Here’s some more evidence that our North Carolina State Legislature despises traditional public schools and favors charter schools that don’t have to play by the same rules as other public schools. Yesterday, the North Carolina House voted to allow charter schools to once again play by different rules.
While traditional public schools have been required to disclose to names and salaries of all its employees to newspapers and the other media under public records laws, it seems our legislature does not believe charter schools should have to do the same. The bill passed by the North Carolina House does not require charter schools to disclose the names of employees with the salaries with public records requests. The logic used to justify this measure by NC Representatives Charles Jeter and David Lewis? “Disclosing the charter school salaries by name creates a hostile work environment.” (See “NC House Votes to Block Charter Employees’ Names with Pay.”)

As far as I am concerned, the logic and intentions of this legislature is clear. It simply despises public schools. period. Through this bill, our legislature finally admits, though tacitly, that it “wants to create a hostile work environment” in traditional public schools, because they are unwilling to protect public school employees from some “theoretical hostile work environment.”

Once again, this North Carolina Legislature proves its hostile intentions toward traditional public education. For the past several years, all employees in school districts in our region have endured having their salaries publicly available in data-bases located on newspaper web sites. Has it caused a hostile work environment? I’m not sure it has. Most of us don’t even bother to access that data anymore. But the fact that our political leaders somehow want to hide how charter schools operate and spend money, definitely shows hostile intentions toward traditional public schools.

These two state legislators, Jeter and Lewis, prove that what they really want to protect is how charter schools actually spend public money. Charters in our area have been known to pay exorbitant salaries to administrators. One charter in Charlotte, North Carolina recently imploded due to bloated administrator salaries. (See “Troubled StudentFirst Charter School Closes Abruptly")

If anyone needs names and salaries disclosed it is public charter schools. Because they are not required to play by the same employment laws as traditional public schools, the public has an even greater interest in making sure these schools do not waste tax payer money. Perhaps this is once again that the signs of intelligent life in our North Carolina Legislature grow even dimmer.

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