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Joint | May 29, 2013 | Press Room | Democrat Press Conference

Full MP3 Audio File

If the film and 45, we got about a dual any great stuff is enough to pull the first and then the slippery slope to take up to public education hill, the constitutional ban the we hailed as the constitution provided some basic education and health, two buses and that's enough, their bad deal for families that schools vs. the communities from the taxpayers, (SPEAKER CHANGES) which has a new session of funding for education that increasing the size of the classroom teachers claims increasing the number two of them they have to teach taking away the teachers' assistants and no rather than addressing the problem education that they have created to taking more money out of education and devoted to two holdouts received a big as the public we should let me tell the soundtrack from the education of the budget request that go with a scheme to get public money and the private philanthropic of the many of whom will be at the state has given us the accountability we no got a lot of schools and performing with possibly testing them and the results later that bush to this bill does not do the bill also provides message that the last people without proper background checks to have been selling custody of our children, the school day of the male age 48 and education spending time with this bill will save people and the way right for the sixth in teacher compensation again with this deal will ultimately lead to 73% of those folks would do and say they oppose vouchers and we know the staff is not good enough, and did not do this in just 52 of the movie that several legislators to talk about a different list of options, and we'll close to a judicial system or whether they affect the question of whether the children as soon as saying that we would say the least of these two-and-bad economic circumstances can use them as a column in this came about tours to transfer taxpayers' dollars to private keys without the fed to choose them without employees that background checks presentations of talk about some calls (SPEAKER CHANGES) about 5:15 PM CCA has to leave ad for a year in just as this UN I. Hansen dam canny district 9:14 AM, just that talk about VIDM that ended up shares could possibly help to put an essentially private school fashion of Leaman back CNN CDMA can easily can eat private schools think that it's frustrating than 1659 C are the way for boxer the qassam E. Kenney five-for-$15.00 a year that's a canny, $17,775 a year after that seriously Mandeville cost me 5200050075, it's tough, and selected unaffiliated nine conflicts tickets cost 821 send to any IC about half the access to the Moon man has in mind the EL it's flat for complex it's a way 9475 high standards used to the 5000775 dollars land scoffed to as ensuring that the five highest toughest, CCS in my $35.00 and 99 MMM-and-white suit and tie, 6 to 16 and 20,000 assists and 255930 AM-five, B after marchers -man that we've had the same efforts to skiing class sizes from an MSI says, classrooms including many in a subclass and that's that we would CS of the successes MSN MM and that such a flat said I, E think that this SA loss to Max S at 4:00 PM today from the dead ??.......

end of the train as far as school vouchers are concerned, because we know that it's failed in other places. This is also about North Carolina being last instead of being first. We have been the innovators in education, and we will no longer be seen as the innovators in education. We'll be the copycats. So, thank you very much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Now, as Representative Fisher's remarks indicate, certainly when you look at the cost of attending, allegedly, these private schools that are high quality, the vouchers that we're talking about giving will not enable poor families attend them. And so what is this really about? We know on a continuing basis we have members of the Republican party saying they want to defund public education, which we know is against the Constitution of the State of North Carolina, and this is just another step of defunding our public school systems and making them inadequate and incapable of providing the constitutionally required sound and basic education. Representative Adams is gonna talk a little bit, as well, about the impact of this bill on poor students. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good morning. Children live in poverty because their parents live in poverty and bills that we have seen, that have come before us, address particularly children who are at the lowest economic, at the lowest economic ladder. Opportunities for students' success continues to be an important issue in education and for all of us here, it is still an important issue. A good education, as we have continued to say, is what we want for all children, but it's important to make sure that accountability for their education is not only provided for but accounted for as well. North Carolina's public schools traditionally have provided education for the masses of children, and in spite of whatever options or choices are currently available, and there are many, even in our public schools today, throughout the Eleazar North Carolina, there are still many choices and options that parents can take with their children. And while the public schools are not perfect, our responsibilities as elected officials should be to provide the needed resources to make our public schools the best that they can be. We can't make them the best that they can be if we continue to diminish the support and the resources that we take from them when we know that those are the things that they need. We continue to hear sponsors of this bill talk about students' success and proficiency, but there are no guarantees when the bills that I have seen, that provide vouchers and scholarships, that those bills do not ensure any student success or proficiency. As a matter of fact, student success is really not indicated in those bills. They don't, as you've heard, provide the transparency that we require of our public schools. No accountability to the public. We've heard a lot about choice, and parents needing choice, and I believe that choice in education is a valid one. But public schools are charged with educating all children, regardless of zip code, regardless of disability or any other problems that may be going on with those students. And so, as I've said before, there are many choices, magnates and other programs that are provided. But when the choice that I need for my child goes beyond the choices that are provided by public schools, and particularly when there is a cost involved, I think it's the parents responsibility to pay for those choices, and that public dollars should not be used to pay for children to be educated in private schools. Choices in education, as I said, are valid, but using public dollars to support education in private schools is just wrong. And they are not the kinds of choices that we should be making with taxpayer dollars. We don't currently fund our public schools adequately and that really ought to be the focus of this General Assembly, that's what we need to be looking at. As you've heard, North Carolina is 48th in the nation per pupil spending, so instead of investing in public education this bill, and all the bills that I've seen regarding vouchers and scholarships, will diminish the funding that we need to make available for our public schools. And they're going to continue to dismantle, and I believe that that is the underlying, the underlying intent of these bills to

Representative: …dismantle our public schools. This bill is also a bit disingenious because it will not truly provide the kind of choice that parents say they need for their children. When you look at children that these bills have been directed towards, i.e. those at the lowest economic ladder, these young students will not have the funding in terms of their family income to pay for the additional costs to offset the vouchers that may be provided. In one instance, I think one of the first bills we saw, it would necessitate that the parent would have to spend the money first and then get reimbursed for it. Now, we are talking about parents who don’t have the income level to even have the money to spend upfront. Overall, I will say it is inappropriate again for private choices to be used at the expense of public dollars. I hope, somewhere along the line, these bills can be derailed and sent back. Thank you. Speaker: Now it is good to talk philosophically about education in NC, to talk generally about our constitutional duties. You see all the legislators before you. All of them have strong re cords on trying to improve education in NC. As we talk about this bill in particular, Representative Glacier is going to come forward and talk about some of the efficiencies of this bill that may not be apparent on its face but are there. It is important to understand that this bill in no way will improve for low income students to achieve a good education. It does not do that statewide, or in any particular school, and it is not a fair representation of what education should be in NC. Representative Glacier? Representative: Thank you Mr. Leader. Good morning everyone. I concur with all the comments made so far but let me try to sum up, in a couple of minutes, a few points. First, 944 has been touted by its advocates as education reform. It is no such thing. It is actually a complete abdication of the public school system in this state. It is not, as someone suggests, the camel’s nose under the tent – now, the whole camel has made its way under the tent, if this bill passes. It starts off with a whole 100% and escalates in the second year costing the tax payers, over that 2 year period, $50 million. We all know, from Representative Stan’s comments before session, and bills that have been filed previously, that there is no intent on the part of these sponsors to keep it at the poverty level, or any poverty level. This bill will soon be, in my view, used as a step to open a private voucher system that will in effect destroy the public school education in the state of NC were that to occur. Let’s talk specifically about a couple of provisions in this bill. Representative Fisher and Adams have said, correctly, that the data, if anyone looks at the data, that it will cost low income folks, who get the full voucher, an additional $5689 to go to elementary school, an additional $7150 to go to middle school, and an additional $8457 to go to high school, and that is not including fees which a lot of these private schools charge – anywhere from $500-1500. That’s just the tuition and the basic cost. If you are at a 100% poverty level, where are you going to come up with that money? Now, what is really being funded here are not the students opportunity to go to the best private schools, because the best private schools are way out of that reach. Secondly, to the extent that they are the best private schools, they have their scholarships in reach and are offering scholarships to some amount of students. This bill will only help one set of schools, and it is the struggling, poor academic schools: they are the only ones that are going to benefit under this bill, certainly not the students that attend there. Secondly, this is a private option, and as Representative Adams made clear, even if a student gets a voucher, there is no guarantee that they are going to be accepted in that school: they are not going to accept the [xx] care, they are not going to accept the kid with serious learning difficulties, the disciplinary child, they are not going to accept the child with a D or C record going in, because they do not have

...have to, and because they haven't historically done that anyway, and so those students will be left in the public school, creating additional problems for us in terms of a public, of giving all of the students in that school a great education, with less resources, because they're being diverted increasingly to voucher schools, and then with voucher schools being able to say, look what we've done with these great kids, we've done great test scores, and look at the schools and the public, they've had this decrease in test scores, and using it as this vicious circle to undercut public education, and they're doing it in a way, as Representative Hall said, in a Bill that has almost no provisions providing for any serious accountability, for any serious qualifications for the teachers who teach in these schools, and so who are we doing this for? I supported, years ago, a tax credit bill, minimal, with Representative Lucas, to deal with a couple hundred exceptional children, in the most extraordinary exceptionalities, where the school districts are unable or, in my opinion, were not able to provide any services. That is one thing, but to create a wholesale voucher system that says your private choice is now the public expense, and to allow public students to then be chosen at will and capriciously by private schools, leaving one set going there and everyone else to be in the public school, is ultimately destructive of public education. Finally, what I would add is a comment I made yesterday, and that is that public education is the one institution in this nation that has bonded our people together, as one people, under one flag, under one nation, and nothing else has ever done that. If we separate our children into hundreds or indeed thousands of private options, then it rips away at the fabric of the democracy of our state and fundamentally at our country. This is a seriously flawed Bill, a seriously bad Bill, and it cannot be sustained, given the problems it has and the funding it has, when we're talking about cutting 142 million dollars out of teacher assistance, when we're talking about cutting hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of the last several years from our education system, when we are, as it's been said, 48th in funding per school in the country, and we justify improving public education how, by ?? it, abandoning it, and saying to these children, well, we're going to turn you over to voucher school and all will be fine. It seems to me, in the end, their poverty doesn't go away because they go to another school. The abuse they suffer at home doesn't go away because they go to a different school. Their exceptionality doesn't go away because they go to a different school. Their discipline issues don't go away because they go to a different school. Their ADD or ADHD doesn't go away because they show up at someone else's door. This is a political solution, a simplistic political solution, ideological solution, for a complex, educational, economic and moral problem, and it really is beneath the dignity of this institution to be using this as the way to solve issues in public education. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Now, you've heard from several of the legislators involved. We're going to take questions, but briefly, it is clear though, this whole voucher idea, at this point in time, under our Constitution, is really educational malpractice by those who would seek to put it forward, and I wouldn't doubt that some people have the best of intentions and are looking for a solution, but they look to provide a solution that does not help the children, does not help their performance, and certainly doesn't help our state move forward with a work force that will be able to compete in the future, and so we admire folks who have an idea and want to do the best. This is not the best. This is not the way we should be going as a state. It certainly ?? our constitutional responsibility, and I would submit to you that it's not a serious attempt to address our problems. It is educational malpractice, if this type of effort is sustained and we go down this road. We'll take questions. I'll take you and then you. Yes, ma'am. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The numbers in this Bill. Is it 4200 for the school year? Is that the number that we're talking about? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] What is your accountability diversion? Accountability wide, ?? the accountability is enough? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, the accountability is deficient, and I'll let other folks jump in, but in my estimation when you first say we're going to take the children, put them in front of a teacher who, as you may have heard the questioning yesterday in the Committee meeting, who has no set qualifications. The teacher doesn't have to have any experience in the subject matter, doesn't have to have training...

Eight of a background check on them of any substance and then say they want out of the phone as some sketchy testing regimen to determine whether that the school has been effective to the issue of those three items I would say that they create some major promises that, (SPEAKER CHANGES) but the interesting departure from public education only one week that the fed to choose the week as the two of the Nevada with the law and the determine whether that they have in fact to detain them to know that this wasn't a demand that in place measures to remove pages available for self we'll have those safeguards and an assist and 1/2 minutes you hear is just plain- Jane has said the year his confusion here is a life-care , customer relations for UC San Diego and only three or, like to see whether to see what happens to them again that's a defensive end of his best to have options we currently have different programs, and if the procedure citadel has a problem testing if you tell me I was certain the assistance award to a close as a special test taking those circumstances that are available and hostess, we stand taken to other end is in place within the public school system we have a way that we haven't budged we realize we have a constitutional responsibility to provide the same basic education or two of them in the last we have to take of commerce and the public school system for us to set up the system, said that should take a deduction from the people of the, background is and to say they'll have the provocation, guard at the provocation level and then say that they could have much money if one day this of course this movie is based on the practice tests that they have cast the sole as we have problems as we need to take some of this and this is not a solution this is a piece of those officials from that, and since we're all-you-you-the-art has been going on since they sell you a politician's, (SPEAKER CHANGES )it's easy, get some have major implications to the occasion, some of the state has sold some other republican leadership would make plain, the advantages to the smell of public education that a lack of education that you have to see this as a step in that direction, just as bad as effectively judges to its own death in the family's likely than 90% of the public education and some crusty I would imagine the numbers are about saying that problem for sure the studies we have failed to determine whether the game's the funding for public education despite the fact that since we service, and then two compound that by saying that a substantial songs of funds from public education can put in private schools that don't meet the standards am a proven track record of making these systems makes no sense again I would see a City Council malpractice and counselors, the below question that they could face a tough ??............