Trying this again, posting this email from Capital Broadcasting Company, without including all the links. You can subscribe to CBC's daily email here.
CBC Editorial: Monday, Aug. 8, 2022; editorial # 8780
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company
Last week North Carolinians learned what the leaders of the N.C. Chamber paid to eliminate the state’s corporate income tax – abandonment of support for public education and obedience to the powerbrokers in the General Assembly.
When dozens of the state’s most prominent business leaders signed onto a brief supporting full-funding of a consensus plan to assure every child has access to a quality education – a right guaranteed in the State Constitution – the state Chamber issued an over-the-top attack on the court order under the guise that the group’s current chair had not given her permission to have her name listed.
Three former state Chamber chairs are among the signers and the current chair, according to Tom Bradshaw (one of those former chairs) Sepi Saidi, told him she agreed to be listed and offered to provide financial support for the effort. After release of the names last week, the state Chamber issued an over-heated statement saying she’d not given her permission while also denying – not that it had even been suggested – that the state Chamber supported the order. Quickly after she made it known that she did not want her name included among the signers, it was removed from the list.
Not only didn’t it support the order, but it went on to say it opposed any court action requiring the state to pay any damages for its failure – since a state Supreme Court order in 1997 – to fulfill its Constitutional promise.
It can only be concluded that’s the price the state Chamber’s paying to the leaders of the legislature in return for taking the N.C. corporate income tax rate from -- 6.9% in 2011, down to 2.5% now and zero by 2030.
While the Chamber has, echoing the leadership of the General Assembly, tried to contend the issue is partisan the truth is to the contrary.
It was a unanimous court that issued the first Leandro ruling that the state failed to provide all children with access to a quality education. In 2004 Republican Justice Robert Orr wrote the unanimous decision further reinforcing the 1997 ruling that it was the state’s obligation to make sure every classroom is led by a well-trained, competent teacher; that schools are run by well-trained, competent administrators and that all schools have the resources to meet the needs of ALL children – including those who are “at-risk” – so they all have the opportunity for a sound basic education.
Since our nation’s founding – and reinforced in North Carolina by our State Constitution, there are co-equal branches of government. It is the role of the courts – in principles enshrined since the famous 1803 Marbury v. Madison decision -- to determine if the administrative and legislative branches of government are acting according to the law. If they aren’t, it is the job of the courts to tell them how to fix it – and even with specific remedies.
We’ve come to understand well that the current leaders of the legislative branch of government believe they are a power unto themselves. They’re testing that proposition – the so-called “independent state legislature” theory -- contending state courts cannot review the legislature’s action concerning congressional redistricting.
There was a time when the state Chamber offered leadership on behalf of public education and North Carolina’s school children. Governors like Jim Holshouser, Jim Hunt and Jim Martin could rely on the Chamber for advice, support and leadership in their efforts to provide needed resources for our schools.
The N.C. Chamber knows the public education needs of the state but has chosen to ignore them and placed their financial gain above doing the best for our school children.
NOTE: Among the signers of the business leaders’ amicus brief is James F. Goodmon, chair and CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Company.