Indecent Assembly & School Vouchers

Libbie Griffin
May 15, 2020
I want to recommend a very important book to you. Gene R. Nichol has been the chair of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Law School for a number of years. He was at one time an opinion writer for the News & Observer. He’s very involved with Rev. William J. Barber’s Poor People’s campaign and, in the past, with the Moral Monday demonstrations.
Mr. Nichol has written a new book that is a catalog of all the rotten things the Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly have tried since 2010 when they became the majority for the first time since Reconstruction. The book is entitled Indecent AssemblyIt is the most important book about North Carolina politics that I’ve ever read!
The forward is written by Rev. Barber and Timothy Tyson. They end their essay with this:
“In roadside motels and on long drives home, Nichol penned eloquent, profound, and irrefutable newspaper columns that compelled North Carolina to face the far-right assault against our most vulnerable neighbors and against our most deeply held moral values – and the denigration of democracy necessary to pull it off. Nichol also offers a moral compass and a shining lighthouse for America’s journey, much as he has for many years in North Carolina. It was not just what Gene Nichol stood for, but where and how he stood for it. In a landscape luminous from the Appalachians to the Outer Banks, here stood a man to match the mountains and the sea. His transformative labors evoke James Baldwin’s dictum: ‘Not everything that is confronted can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is confronted.’”
Mr. Nichol begins his book with this statement about the North Carolina legislature in 2020:
“…but the North Carolina General Assembly remains, first to last, a Republican outfit – following in the same singular and destructive agenda it has pursued the last eight years. That agenda has inflicted damage on the people of North Carolina and directly threatens both their well-being and their children’s futures. It is that agenda, writ large, that will be the focus of this book.”
This book is a complete listing of the sins inflicted on the children and adults of our state including many acts overruled as unconstitutional by the courts. The book is fully annotated and every charge the author makes is supported in the notes.
If you need a reason to work hard in this year’s election, reading this book will give you many reasons. I strongly recommend that you invest $18 or less in a copy of this book, or download it to your Kindle for about $11 (click here for Amazon)
I was not able to find the book at the New Bern Books-a-Million recently  but it can be ordered online at Books-a-Million.
One of the subjects best explained by Mr. Nichol in his book is the use of “vouchers” to use tax money to pay for private schools, most of them affiliated with a church. He explains that students in private schools are not subjected to standardized tests of any kind. The schools are not required to teach the curriculum required by state law to be taught in all public schools.
When school vouchers were created initially the excuse was that the children of poor people deserved the same opportunity as those from more affluent families. In 2020 for a child to qualify for a voucher the family’s income must be less than $71,456. That’s bad, but what the Republicans in the legislature  are trying to do now is even worse! A few days ago I received this “Action Alert” from a group called Public Schools First:
STOP SB 711 NOW & Place a Moratorium on School Vouchers!
Senate Bill 711 was introduced on May 5, 2020 to further expand the number of students who can receive a school voucher. The bill ELIMINATES the existing eligibility requirements for students to attend private schools. Now, the bill simply states that “any student eligible to attend a NC public school under GS 115C-366 eligible to receive a school voucher. See the original requirements that will be repealed if this bill passed.
SB 711 also increases the amounts appropriated for 2020-21 through 2026-27 fiscal years and for the 2027-28 fiscal year and every fiscal years thereafter by an additional $2 million. Grand total would now be: “For the 2027-2028 fiscal year and each fiscal year thereafter, there is appropriated from General fund to the Reserve the sum of $146,840,000 to be used for the purposes set forth in this section.” (The original budget narrative can be viewed here.
ASK YOUR LEGISLATORS to VOTE NO on this bill. Tell them you do not support lifting eligibility requirements for school vouchers or spending more tax dollars for students to attend private schools that have no accountability for how they spent funds.
 Instead, ask your legislators for a MORATORIUM ON VOUCHERS! Read more of the bill summary here:
It appears obvious to me that Republican legislators want to defund public schools by making all our schools “private” which will remove educational standards and allow the teaching of conservative topics such as creationism.
Let’s make North Carolina blue!
Libbie Griffin
Dem candidate for NC Senate District 2
Carteret – Craven – Pamlico


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