North Carolina House Speaker guts education budget, then says teachers don’t care about kids

By Kase Wickman
Sunday, June 5, 2011 20:37 EDT
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Republican North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis was instrumental in cutting more than $100 million from the state’s education budget, but now claims it’s the state’s teachers who are negatively affecting students.

At the North Carolina GOP convention, Tillis defended a recently passed controversial bill that will make it more difficult for the North Carolina Association of Educators to collect dues from its members, dues that make lobbying on educators’ behalf possible. In addition to an expected 13,000 education jobs that would be cut with the GOP-proposed state budget, their lobbying group would be crippled.

Tillis drew cheers at the convention, however, when he spoke about the bill.

“They don’t care about kids. They don’t care about classrooms,” Tillis said of the state’s teachers. “They only care about their jobs and their pensions.”

With the help of five Democrats, the Republicans passed a veto-proof budget. It will land on North Carolina Gov. Bev Purdue’s (D) desk this week for a signature, though there’s doubt about whether she will approve it.

“I’m not sure it matters a whole lot whether she signs the budget,” State Senate leader Phil Berger told the Charolotte Observer. “Increasingly she is making herself irrelevant to what is happening in North Carolina.”

(h/t: ThinkProgress)

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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