Perdue’s Plan to Raise Taxes Protects What??

The following letter was apparently sent to all Orange County School Employees this afternoon from a “public information officer.”  Sounds more like a press release from the governor’s re-election office or the North Carolina Democratic Party than “public information” to me.  Wondering why taxpayer money is being used to pay the salary of this public information officer to send out this kind of communication….Is this why the governor wants to extend the temporary taxes?  To pay the salaries of “public information” officers to disseminate her campaign rhetoric to public school employees? Is this what she means by “protecting public education?”

From this taxpayer, no thanks.

From: Michael Gilbert
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2011 12:39 PM
Subject: Budget Update from Governor Perdue

Good afternoon,
Governor Bev Perdue today announced the results of a budget analysis conducted by the North Carolina State Board of Education and Department of Public Instruction that details the cuts ordered by the Senate leadership in their budget proposal. Early analysis shows that the Wake County, Durham County, Orange County, and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City schools will be required to cut a total of $57.1 million from their budgets – forcing them to lay off teachers, teaching assistants and administrators.

Senate Republicans this week attempted to hide their frighteningly deep cuts to local school districts.

The truth is that the Republicans, who had already sliced into the public schools budget, slashed deeper, forcing local school districts to cut $429 million next year alone.  Republican Senate leaders are dodging responsibility and shoving the cuts down to local schools.  The Senate’s additional cuts will require counties to eliminate large numbers of teachers, teaching assistants and administrators.

By contrast, Governor Perdue’s proposal would fully protect the classroom, protect critical preschool programs like Smart Start and More at Four and secures access to thousands of critical workforce training programs in our community college and university systems, according to analysis by the Department of Public Instruction and State Board of Education.

If this budget passes, the results will devastate North Carolina’s classrooms. Looking at just next year’s budget, for example, in the Triangle, the Wake County Public School System will face $42.3 million in cuts; the Durham County Public School System will face $9.3 million in cuts; the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School System will face $3.4 million in cuts; the Orange County Public School System will face $2.1 million in cuts.

Combined, the Republican plan will force $57.7 million in those four systems alone.
“The proposed budget appears to be a charade,” said Gov. Perdue. “While the Republican leadership claims to protect teaching positions, they are actually forcing local school districts to make substantial layoffs of education personnel to the tune of more than a quarter billion dollars statewide – meaning thousands of teachers and teaching assistants will be cut.”

“Instead of taking the responsible course of extending a portion of the sales tax to pay for critical education needs, the Senate seems to have continued to pursue an ideologically driven effort to unnecessarily defund education and other crucial programs.”
A close look at their plan shows that the General Assembly has washed their hands of their budgeting responsibility in order to force local school districts to deal with the state’s budget shortfall.

The Republican leaders of the General Assembly are trying to have their cake and eat it too. They want to claim that they’re protecting educators and children, and then they turn around and force counties to make unpopular budget decisions. It’s unfair, it’s short-sighted, and it’s just plain wrong for North Carolina.

Michael Gilbert
Public Information Officer
Orange County Schools
919.732.8126 (phone)
919.732.8120 (fax)
<http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hillsborough-NC/Orange-County-Schools-NC/151492668232190>  <http://twitter.com/#!/OCSPublicInform>

“All e-mail correspondence to and from this address is subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law, which may result in monitoring and disclosure to third parties, including law enforcement.”

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