Criticism of the Democrat governor of North Carolina’s “state of emergency in education” after the Republican-controlled legislature’s decision in favor of school choice is fierce.
In a speech this week, Roy Cooper said that Republicans were attempting to “starve public education” and unleashing “an atomic bomb on public schooling.”
Cooper said, “It’s obvious that the Republican legislature wants to suffocate public education. You deserve to know what’s going on, therefore I’m calling this a state of emergency.”
Cooper was upset by a budget argument among Republicans in the legislature that would result in a lesser boost in teacher compensation than he desired and a greater availability of school vouchers for families.
Cooper said, “The legislature wants to offer our teachers neither more salary nor greater respect.”
Cooper received instant criticism online for misusing his emergency authority due to a political dispute.
“Unbelievable. In an effort to block veto-proof school choice laws enacted by the legislature, Roy Cooper is now using emergency powers.” Investigations scholar Parker Thayer said, “Legislation isn’t an emergency.”
Cooper claimed that the budget would lead to in-program cutbacks in the public schools, but Republicans shot back that the proposal would provide more parents and children with greater school choice.
Cooper’s declaration received harsh criticism from a representative for Senate leader Phil Berger in a quick statement.
Randy Brechbiel said that “pointless advertising gimmicks have no impact on our state’s educational performance. The House and Senate will continue to collaborate to advance budget proposals that take parents’ and students’ needs into account.”
Mark Robinson, a Republican lieutenant governor, also chastised Cooper.
He tweeted, “Once again, we see government leaders telling you that they know what is best regarding your child. The term ‘state of emergency’ has been used as a political ploy by our governor, who has gone too far. However, when Democrats controlled the legislature and teachers were facing salary cutbacks and furloughs, comments like these weren’t said.”
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