Hello Ms. Lisella,
My name is Diane Rufino and I wanted to comment on the email response that you sent Mr. Rick Hopkins, the leader of the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA, New Bern), which, by the way, is a very large, energetic group of activists who do their homework, understand the issues, and educate their community. That explains why the people of Coastal Carolina are blessed with such a principled conservative as Michael Speciale. It’s no surprise that such a great man would rise to the occasion when they’ve created such an environment in that part of the state.
I would like to think that my organizations – the Eastern NC Tea Party, the Pitt County GOP, and the Republican Women of Pitt County – have the same effect in our county, in our district, and in our communities. And one of the issues we take very seriously is the further entrenchment of the federal government in the local education of our children. We are distrustful of Common Core and because we’ve done extensive research, we have every right to be suspicious and cautious. I was very troubled at the response you sent from House Speaker Tillis’ office and I wanted to let you know.
To refresh your memory, Mr. Hopkins sent you this message:
To All NC Legislators,
I strongly urge you to learn as much about Common Core as you can and then STAND OPPOSED to it! Please make it one of your top priorities. It is a carefully crafted agenda that goes against our most basic freedoms and must be stopped. Please don’t pass it to find out what’s in it, do your homework and lead the fight against it in North Carolina. Below is an introduction. If you find it to be untrue, then I ask that you present the facts as you know them with supporting source documents.
Thanks for your time and prompt attention to this issue,
And you sent him the following response from the House Speaker’s Office:
Speaker Tillis and the House Caucus has serious concerns regarding Common Core. We’ve filed a study bill that will take an in-depth look at Common Core and its impact on North Carolina. One of the complicating factors is that it is tied to nearly $400m in grants and programs awarded to the state in 2010 through the Race to the Top Program. The interim study will work with educators, administrators, and other stakeholders to determine the future of NC’s participation in the program.
Julie Garrison Lisella
Director of Boards & Commissions
Office of the House Speaker
So it seems like it’s all about the money.
With all due respect, I find the response very discouraging. I don’t mean to downplay the financial concerns at stake, which I imagine are great. After all, the Republicans are very concerned with a budget that takes care of the state and doesn’t raise taxes, while at the same time puts a little away for an emergency. I get that. We all get that.
But education is a state’s number #1 responsibility, or very close to #1. The leaders of the next generation come from the education system of this generation, and right now, that’s a terribly scary thing.
Again, with all due respect, the email you sent to Mr. Hopkins wasn’t a response. It was more of a lame excuse.
A state that is committed to doing something about its education system will find answers and solutions. That’s the power of 50 independent states… they use their ingenuity to solve problems and not wait for the government to do it. Rep. Stam and Brian Brown and others just passed a bill (H.B. 944) to use public funds to give to low-income families as vouchers to send their children to private school. EXCUSE ME ??? The middle class and other taxpayers are continually soaked for funds in order to provide benefits to the lower class… so much so that they themselves CANNOT send their children to private school. H.B. 944 reads: “The State has a constitutional obligation to fund the delivery of a sound basic education to children.” It’s there in black and white – The STATE, by its very constitution, has an OBLIGATION to FUND a good education (by application of Equal Protection) to ALL CHILDREN on an EQUAL BASIS.
Speaker Tillis talks about getting together with educators, administrators, and “other stakeholders” to assess Common Core. The greatest “stakeholders” in education are the children and parents. And nowhere does he mention them. The problem for too long has been allowing government to task itself and trust itself to come up with answers. We saw just how they do things at the state level. On June 2, 2010, Common Core standards were released (written by ultra-libertal David Coleman and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Fund, huge supporters of Obama’s education scheme to make education the new “civil rights’ initiative). Just 2 days later, state “educators” – without doing any research or analysis, and without any heads up to NC parents – adopted them.
Enough of the “feel-good” spending programs, enough of the constant re-paving of already good roads in the states, enough of the parasitic relationship that NC has with the federal government, and let’s start FIXING EDUCATION by returning federal education funds. And start LISTENING to the concerns of citizens who want to stop government control, indoctrination, re-programming, and immoralization of their children under the guise of “education.” Parents just want their children to get a good education that presupposes that they have a decent brain and not that assumes that they can’t push themselves. They want an education system that challenges their children, not sets limits because of any lower common denominator, and they want one that opens endless possibilities of career choices (not one that pidgeon-holes children to the demands of the workforce, overly tests them to make sure they are ALL “all on the same page,” and collects non-value-added data for the government to put on file).
I respectfully request that the General Assembly re-focus their priorities, get creative, use the enormous intellectual potential we have in the state to come up with solutions, stop the exclusive audiences with interested parties and the establishment, and start listening to the concerned folks of North Carolina who are doing their homework and demanding accountability by their government.
Thank you so much for your time and attention to this email.
Leader, Eastern NC Tea Party
Secretary, Pitt County GOP
Legislative Chair, Republican Women of Pitt County
Deputy Director, NC Tenth Amendment Center
State Director and National Political Director, Wake Up America
Blogger and writer: www.forloveofgodandcountry,com (my blogsite)