As Save Our Schools NC members begin to put together the voter guide there are some who will stand out above others. There are those in the General Assembly that worked tirelessly to fight for public education, but there are those who actively hindered public education legislation. Phil Berger continually kept public education bills stuck in committee. On May 16th, we chanted Remember in November. So, here is a very little blog post to keep our minds fresh.
When the House passed HB13, this seemed to be a reasonable solution to the class size mandate. I assumed it would go quickly through committee and then get a vote in the Senate. The house passed it unanimously so it must be a solid fix to a major problem, right? Being new to the political scene in North Carolina, I had no idea why passing the house meant very little. I was told point blank by everyone, unless Senator Berger wants to pass the bill, the bill will die in committee. I was livid that this was politics in our state. I’m still livid. With public pressure, we did eventually get a vote on HB13, but by the time Berger’s Senate got a hold of it, it was not the same bill.
HB13 isn’t the only education bill I’ve watched die. There are countless education bills that were left to die in committee. Bills like the state wide school bond were just left to rot in Phil Berger’s own personal trash pile.
I’m so tired of watching our public education die in committee. I would be terribly naïve to believe that the election in November will bring about a complete change to our General Assembly. However, it is our job as citizens of the state, and voters to do whatever we can to put those who hinder public education out of a job. It is our job to put those who follow power blindly out of a job. Now is not the time to be timid. Now is the time to take a stand.
There will be flashy ads supporting Berger. He no doubt will spout numbers and claim to have helped public education. In the end, remember, it was Phil Berger who caused the class size mandate issue, and then hindered our fight to end the chaos. He never took responsibility and he needs to be voted out.
Those of you in Senate District 30 are now some of the most powerful voters in our state. In this election, you are the center of power in North Carolina not Raleigh. Make your vote count. Jen Mangrum will fight for public education. Phil Berger will only drag it down.