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Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis

 

Bloated bureaucracy gets its cuts

1:42 PM, Jul. 25, 2011 |

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Written by

Ray Lewis OPINION

Now that the budget has been approved and ratified, do we look forward to Armageddon as it applies to public education? What will the future of public education be? Let us look at the facts.

The Citizen-Times’ biases have been particularly evident in the paternalistic treatment of Governor Perdue in your coverage of the passage of the current budget. You have condoned Governor Perdue’s use of public education as a poster child in chastising and condemning the Republican controlled legislature. You conveniently failed to point out that the budget appropriated additional funds for the hiring of 1,124 new classroom teachers for grades one through three.

The cuts in this budget are designed to curtail and cutback some of the largesse found in the “purple Taj Mahal” (Education Building in Raleigh) and in administrative offices throughout the school districts in North Carolina. These administrative personnel do not teach one child in the class room but in many instances impede the effectiveness of the class room teachers by burdening them with unnecessary paperwork and regulations.

Now the kicker… why does Governor Perdue play the public education card so vigorously? Because this is her political base and cash cow — NCAE (NC Association of Educators) has been allowed to withhold membership dues by payroll deductions. Of these dues, they spent $1.8 million in 2008 towards Perdue’s campaign. The NEA (National Education Association) spent another $1.7 million on campaign ads for Bev Perdue.

This being said, nowhere have you reported the salary and compensation of the top four NCAE de facto union executives who are being paid as follows: Scott Anderson, Exec Director - $229,120; Kelvin Sprangley, Assoc. Exec. Director — $190,360; Jacqueline Vaughan, Comm. Director — $183,788; and Rodney Ellis, Vice-President — $171,362. Also, several other association officers are paid over $150,000 each. These are the association representatives along with the NAACP officer who organized the NCAE and NAACP supporters to gather in the Legislative Mall and protest the current budget provisions.

Also of significance, nowhere has your paper dared to point out why it became necessary for the Republican controlled legislature to make these spending cuts to compensate for $2.4 billion dollar shortfall-deficit. This was primarily due to the failure of Governor Perdue and the previous Democrat controlled legislature to cut out unnecessary programs and spending to properly balance the budget as is required by the North Carolina Constitution, rather than to use a $2 billion infusion of President Obama’s one-time stimulus money to make up the deficit.

I beg of you good citizens, be fair and report the true facts.

Ray Lewis lives in Mars Hill.

ACT 9/5/13

I have read with interest the laudatory and extensive coverage in the AC-T of “Moral Monday” protests and the applause for Rev. Barber and his followers. Considerable newsprint has been published on this topic; however I have failed to observe any journalistic capital expended by the AC-T on background or other information concerning the organizers of these protests. It could be surmised by a casual observer that the organizers may have seized this opportunity to further their own financial and political interests, as is often the case where liberal groups prey upon the emotions of low information persons to promote their financial interests.

According to the Civitas Institute located in Raleigh, the Rev. William Barber, N.C. NAACP president, has acknowledged that Moral Mondays are not a spontaneous action. He is quoted as revealing that the seeds of the recent protests were first sown when he and others formed a coalition of liberal groups called Historic Thousands on Jones Street, referred to as HKonJ. In 2013, HKonJ became the coordinating umbrella organization for the groups protesting “Moral Mondays.”

According to this source, the HKonJ groups have been awarded more than $50 million in direct grants in recent years from the state of North Carolina.

These grants include $33 million for Community Development Initiative; $20 million for Minority Support Center; and $7.5 million for N.C. Institute of Minority Economic Development. Also, $8.7 million was received by HKonJ organizations from pass-through grant money by state-funded nonprofits from 2009-12. Rev. Barber’s NAACP received $55,000, and Greater Joy Baptist Church received $450,000.

A portion of this grant money was expended as follows: Abdul Rasheed, the CEO of Community Development Initiative received $222,629.00 in base compensation and $42,819 in deferred compensation and benefits in 2011; Lenwood Long, CEO at the Minority Support Center made $106,080 in 2011; and the Opportunities Industrialization Center paid four officers more than $110,000 each. More than one-half of this organization’s expenditures of more than $2 million dollars were allocated for compensation and benefits, with $1.9 million in other expenses.

This is only a portion of the grant monies received by nonprofits comprising HKonJ. One would never believe that organizing protests could be so profitable. But, when you have liberal media willing to join the movement and low information people who can be manipulated to believe that they are participating in some worthy cause, perhaps anything is possible.

Ray Lewis lives in Mars Hill.