Here is the link to House Bill 1173.

The text for the second addition is not long. Actually, it’s very straightforward.

Simply put, the bill will make the leader of the Department of Public Instruction also be the chair of the State Board of Education.

If this constitutional admendment passes in November, then it would bring to fruition a six year plan for an ultraconservative, privatizing segment of lawmakers to fully take over public education in North Carolina.

Look at this timeline.

In 2011 North Carolina got a super-majority in the NC General Assembly and the rise of Sen. Phil Berger as the most powerful lawmaker in the state. Then we got the removal of due-process rights, graduate degree pay bumps removed, less per-pupil expenditures, vouchers, unregulated charter school growth, school performance grading system, class size cap removed, etc.

And then came the 2016 election of Mark Johnson and a special session in late 2016. It was supposed to be for hurricane relief after another busy storm season.

It gave us HB17.

With the effects of House Bill 17 from the surreptitious special session of December in 2016, Mark Johnson became the most enabled incoming state superintendent in state history. He gained powers that even his predecessor did not possess one-half the magnitude of. Those powers still remain with the state super.

In 2018 DPI got reorganized. The State Board of Education got less control over the state’s public school system.

And Phil Berger got his puppet. Then it was Mark Johnson. Catherine Truitt is now the puppet.

Below is what DPI’s organizational chart was prior to the reorganization of 2018.

chart1

This is what it looks like now.

reorg.png

What that did was to replace the check and balance that the State Board provided against DPI with no check and balance. Now imagine when both the State Board and DPI are led by the same person who blatantly cowtows to the wishes of one Phil Berger, Tim Moore, and the powers in the NCGA.

The other part of HB1173 is “All non-ex officio members of the State Board of Education will be elected to
four-year terms from the State Congressional Districts.”

State Board members already come different regions in the state that they represent.

Now look at that time line above again, specifically 2016. This state is embroiled in trying to lawfully reset congressional district lines and keep them from being unlawfully gerrymandered. This NCGAS is not good at that. In fact, they have been stopped in court at trying to draw lines based on racial makeup of districts.

This state has more registered democrats than republicans but the way that the maps are currently drawn skew heavily toward the party with fewer registered voters.

What HB1173 would do is allow for the State Board of Education to have its ex-officio members be elected with gerrymandered congressional maps and then serve on a board that caters specifically to the people who drew those gerrymandered maps in the first place. That board would then be controlled by a person who controls DPI and is loyal to those same gerrymandering people.

It doesn’t end there. Look who the primary spnsors of the bill are.

Specifically the names of John Torbett and Hugh Blackwell

Funny that the same governing body that is moving this bill through the current session also had a committee put together to “reimagine” what public education in NC should be in response to the LEANDRO decision that so many in Raleigh refuse to acknowledge. Like Berger. Like Tim Moore. Like Catherine Truitt.

Look who the chairs of the committee are.

It’s part of a powergrab. Pure and simple.

That constitutional amendment should be struck down in November.

Pure and simple.





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Clarence Choe