According to the official State Board of Elections Candidate List, Union County Representative Craig Horn filed yesterday to run for NC Superintendent of Public Instruction. His record on education as a state legislator shows that he’s not just unqualified—he’s anti-qualified.
Horn has never been a public school teacher or worked in education in any capacity whatsoever. That lack of first hand understanding of the dynamics of a classroom or the day-to-day operations of a school district is problematic in and of itself.
But it’s what Horn has done rather than what he hasn’t done that should concern educators the most.
Representative Horn has consistently voted for corporate tax cuts–six in the last seven years–which have deprived our public schools of billions of dollars in potential revenue. He has voted for budgets which have slashed the numbers of teaching assistants we have in elementary classrooms by more than 7,000 over the last decade, making it much harder for teachers to manage behaviors and differentiate instruction for our youngest learners. He has voted for budgets which have reduced funding for supplies and materials by 55%, leaving underpaid teachers to buy classroom resources on their own.
Horn likes to portray himself as a great supporter of teachers, but he has voted AYE on many policy changes which have directly harmed the teaching profession in North Carolina. They include, among others:
- Stripping master’s pay for North Carolina teachers (first state in the country to do that).
- Abolishing career protections for North Carolina teachers, meaning any teacher can be fired at any time without opportunity to speak on their own behalf.
- Eliminating retiree health benefits for any teacher hired after Jan 1, 2021. Folks hired after that date will be forced to purchase private insurance on their own. This change makes it much harder to recruit new teachers at a time when North Carolina is experiencing a major shortage.
- Cutting all funding for the NC Teaching Fellows Program, a highly successful 25 year teacher development program which gave scholarships to high school students who committed to teaching in NC schools.
Craig Horn’s actions as a state legislator demonstrate his callous disregard for the teaching profession, and his backwards priorities on funding have contributed directly to the conditions which have prompted thousands of fed-up educators to fill the streets of Raleigh and march to Horn’s own state legislature both of the last two years.
The last thing we need is to put one of the people who’s actually responsible for North Carolina’s current education 💩 storm in charge of our school system.