The extremists in the North Carolina legislature and in the governor’s mansion have decided that the state’s public education system must be subject to market pressures.

That means they want public money put into private hands, as much as possible.

North Carolina was once the most progressive of southern states. It is now among the most regressive, competing with Louisiana in a race to the bottom.

Please note that the lawmakers did not put the decision about vouchers in the hands of the electorate.

No state referendum on vouchers has ever passed, and they know it.

Being fearful to say out loud what they are doing, they call vouchers with a deceptive name, as do their supporters in other states. They call them “opportunity scholarships.”

One state official is responsible to oversee the nearly 700 schools that are eligible to receive voucher students.

The campaign for vouchers was funded by extremist groups, from inside and outside the state.

Please note that in the latest TIMSS international tests, students in North Carolina’s public schools took the test and were rated as one of the highest performing entities in the world.

Want to know about vouchers in North Carolina?

Read these outstanding and objective articles by Lindsay Wagner of the NC Policy Watch. Here, here, and here.

Who is footing the bill to privatize public dollars? Follow the money. North Carolina has its own Art Pope, who handsomely funds libertarians who agree with his views; this very conservative and politically important multi-multi-millionaire is now state budget director. Art Pope was profiled by the New Yorker magazine because of his outsize influence in changing the face of the North Carolina Republican party.

And then there is all the out-of-state money that has helped elect a reactionary legislature.

The voucher promoters–who represent the most reactionary elements of our society–are always able to find and pay people of color willing to make ridiculous claims that they are doing the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by helping to destroy public education that serves all children. Think of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, which is handsomely funded by the Walton Family Foundation (whose stores do not allow unions and pay minimum wage to their employees). And North Carolina has its own cheerleaders for local billionaires, falsely laying claim to Dr. King’s campaign for public responsibility, not privatization.

And lest we not forget: the governor’s senior education advisor is Eric Guckian, a distinguished leader groomed by Teach for America.