Democrat governor declares ‘state of emergency’ over GOP-controlled legislature’s plan to increase school choice in North Carolina

News & Politics

The Democratic governor of North Carolina is being lambasted by critics for declaring a “state of emergency in education” after the Republican-controlled legislature voted for school choice.

Roy Cooper accused Republicans of trying to “starve public education” and dropping “an atomic bomb on public education” in a televised address on Monday.

“It’s clear that the Republican legislature is aiming to choke the life out of public education,” Cooper said. “I am declaring this state of emergency because you need to know what’s happening.

Cooper was angered by a budget debate between Republicans in the legislature that would lead to a smaller rise in teacher pay than he wanted and an increase in access for families to school vouchers.

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“Our teachers deserve better pay and more respect, but the legislature wants to give them neither one,” Cooper claimed.

Cooper was immediately upbraided online for abusing his emergency powers over a political disagreement.

“Unbelievable. Roy Cooper is now actually evoking emergency powers to fight veto-proof school choice bills passed by the legislature. Legislation is not an emergency,” responded investigative researcher Parker Thayer.

Cooper said that the budget would mean cuts for programs in public schools, but Republicans countered that the plan would increase school choice for more parents and families.

A spokesperson for Senate leader Phil Berger excoriated Cooper’s announcement in a brief statement.

“Meaningless publicity stunts do nothing to improve educational outcomes in our state,” said Randy Brechbiel. “The House and Senate will continue working together to put forward budget proposals that address the needs of students and parents.”

Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson also criticized Cooper.

“Once again, we see leaders in government telling you that they know what’s best for your child,” he tweeted. “Our Governor has gone so far as to use the words ‘state of emergency’ as a political prop. However, words like this weren’t said when Democrats had control of the legislature and teachers were receiving pay cuts and being furloughed.”

Here’s more about Cooper’s announcement:

NC Gov. Cooper declares so-called ‘state of emergency’ for public

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