Earlier this year, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory slashed important education funding in order to cut taxes for North Carolina’s wealthiest residents — another step in making North Carolina the Kochs’ “model state.” Now, the Kochs want North Carolinians to say thank you for the budget changes that have been good for millionaires and billionaires like the Kochs but have had devastating effects on students and families around the state.
Koch front group Americans for Prosperity introduced a six-figure, 30-second ad buy yesterday evening. The ad ignores the education funding issues, saying, “People all across North Carolina are smiling a little more.” The only people smiling are the millionaires and billionaires like the Koch brothers who are benefiting from the tax cuts at the expense of public schools.
Read more about the Kochs in North Carolina and McCrory’s terrible tax policies below:
North Carolina’s state Senate recently released a devastating budget proposal that — if passed — will mean dire cuts to education. And the Kochs love it. Earlier this week, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) North Carolina praised the proposal, with its the state director calling it “a responsible plan” and saying the budget reflected “priorities that Americans for Prosperity supports.” So what exactly does the brothers’ political arm consider “priorities?”
According to WRAL, some of the most egregious changes include eliminating more than 8,500 teaching assistant positions, increasing community college tuition, and getting rid of 520 pre-k spots. And because this is the state of broken promises (see: Pat McCrory), there are plenty of shirked campaign commitments mixed in as well, particularly when it comes to the education lottery.
The Senate also refused to address the state’s low ranking in both per-student funding and teacher salary.
As WRAL reported earlier this year,
The National Education Association estimates the average salary for a North Carolina public school teacher in the 2014-15 school year at $47,783, which ranks 42nd nationally. In the 2013-14 school year, the state average was $44,990, or 47th nationally, according to the NEA.
AFP and the Kochs are more than willing to sacrifice public schools — and the future — if it means more tax cuts for the wealthy.