In the movie In the Line of Fire, Clint Eastwood's character rants about "window dressing." That's when politicians and administrators make decisions based on optics rather than what would be the most effective way to accomplish a task.
Currently, when it comes to Medicaid Expansion, Broadband Access, and Teacher Pay, North Carolina legislators are highlighting a lot of window dressing in hopes of deceiving North Carolinians into re-electing them. They want you to shout "Hurray!" but mostly, it's a bunch of Hoop-lah.
A decade later, Medicaid Expansion has FINALLY been passed by the NC House and Senate. But there's a catch. It makes for a good headline and political stump speech, but it's just window dressing. Truth be told, the NC General Assembly is playing Whack-a-Mole with our health care access. The House and Senate won't mutually agree on a Medicaid Expansion bill. Thus, no Medicaid Expansion bill is going to the Governor.
You may have heard about GREAT grants for Broadband Expansion. Current legislators want to take credit for grants being awarded to WNC, but let's give credit where credit is due.
"GREAT" stands for "Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology" and is part of the NC Dept of Informational Technology's Broadband Infrastructure Office. They've been awarding grants for years, but the surge is because of increased funding provided by the FEDERAL AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT. Thank you, Biden Administration and US Congressional Democrats. Thank you, everyone who completed last year's broadband survey. Thank you, media outlets, Chambers of Commerce, and other entities who promoted this survey. Together, WE are making life better for the people of WNC and beyond. These grants are not a result of the General Assembly finally realizing we need broadband in WNC, but Republican politicians are taking credit for what others did. Window Dressing.
Furthermore, even these new grant opportunities do not automatically meet the need for broadband access in WNC. (Click the "More about Broadband" button.)
By the way, teachers received a 5% pay increase when last year's budget was passed. Of course, you know inflation is well above 5%. Meanwhile, North Carolina is projected to have a $4 billion surplus this fiscal year and $2 billion surplus next fiscal year. (That's a "B" for "billion".) Teachers are so thrilled...
Teachers are so thrilled (sarcasm) by this raise, that the attrition rate also rose to 8.2%.
2018-2019 7. 5%
In January, a NEA survey found that 55% of educators are considering leaving the profession. Rather than supporting teachers while they, like the rest of us, have been struggling to adapt to the new normal, Radicalized Republican policitians rally people to attack them. Do they really think a 5% pay raise will compensate for the disrespect leveed against them? Window Dressing.
See what the Jeanes Fellows Program plans to do to help schools.
See Karen's ideas for Making Life a Bit Better for Our Teachers.