Dr. June Atkinson, the state superintendent of instruction in North Carolina, said, ““For the first time in my career of more than 30 years in public education, I am truly worried about students in our care.”

Lindsay Wagner summarizes the damage done to public education by the North Carolina legislature:

It cut more than $500 million from the state’s public schools.

It passed a voucher program to allow students to take public money to private and religious schools.

And more:

The 2013-15 biennial budget introduces a raft of spending cuts to public schools that will result in no raises for teachers, larger class sizes, fewer teacher assistants, little support for instructional supplies or professional development, and what could amount to the dismantling of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program. Teachers can also say goodbye to tenure and supplemental pay for advanced degrees.

Wagner asks, “Is this the beginning of the end for public education in North Carolina?”

The privatization movement is in full swing in North Carolina. What was once the most progressive state in the South is now leading the attack on public education. For the first time since Reconstruction, the governorship and both houses of the Legislature are in the hands of Republicans, and these are not moderate Republicans who want to preserve a strong public education system. These are radical privatizers who want to send public monies to private schools, religious schools, and entrepreneurs.

The governor’s education advisor, Eric Guckian, is a Teach for America alum. TFA won $5.1 million in the new budget.