Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Raise my taxes more to pay for teachers

Posted By on Wed, May 18, 2011 at 3:35 PM

King Harry I of Greater Mecklenburg, er, County Manager Harry Jones presented a new budget to the County Commission last night, and there’s much to be digested before offering a more in-depth look at the numbers. Right off the bat, however, the move to raise taxes to save the libraries and undo some damage to the schools is welcome.  The king’s – darn it — Jones’ proposals should enjoy the support of Charlotteans who care about such things as education, literacy, public service, and, you know, civilization as we know it. And I imagine it will be — rather, it already is being — attacked by Charlotteans whose priorities are more along the lines of “Screw everyone but me and mine.”

There’s just one thing: Jones’ plan would restore $26 million to CMS, which would ostensibly allow the system to restore 260 teaching positions. That sounds good, but it’s not enough to undo the damage already done by past cuts, much less start building a stronger school system. The Commission should ask Jones to figure out how much taxes would need to be raised to restore all teacher and teacher assistant positions, and then enact that amount into law. Conservatives and skinflints will squawk, but what else is new? Having strong schools is an absolutely critical element in building a desirable city, and although I have very little confidence that Peter Gorman is the kind of superintendent who can do that, he won’t be here forever. In the meantime, the very least the county can do is to restore teacher positions that have been eliminated. If that means raising taxes more than Jones envisions, so be it. I’m willing to pay it for the sake of the schools, and plenty of others in the county are, too.

We need more teachers!
  • We need more teachers!

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