Here’s the press release from 11th District Democratic candidate Hayden Rogers:
Meadows: Still Failing on Public Education
Brasstown, NC – As thousands of K-12 and college students across Western North Carolina head back to school, Mark Meadows continues to stand by his radical plan to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education and gut critical federal programs for underserved students while pushing for “school choice” programs that direct already scarce taxpayer dollars to voucher programs for private and charter schools.
“Education is the cornerstone of success in America, and our outstanding public school system has been a source of pride in North Carolina for generations,” said Rogers. “A voucher system may work back in Mark’s home state of Florida, but it won’t work here in Western North Carolina where I went to school. We should be focused on improving educational opportunities for all students, not just a privileged few.”
After coming out in support of abolishing the U.S. Department of Education, Meadows said in a recent forum that he made the “conscious and costly decision” to keep his children out of publicly funded schools because he did not want to rely on the government or allow it to influence his children’s education.
“Our public education system is not part of some grand conspiracy,” said Rogers. “Private and charter schools might be an option for some families, but it is wrong to force taxpayers to subsidize this personal choice at the expense of our already underfunded public schools. That’s why we need a strong public education system that gives all students, especially those in our most rural and underserved areas, a fair shot at success.”
North Carolina students would suffer a tremendous blow almost immediately if the Meadows plan to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education passed into law. Statewide, approximately:
$2.3 billion in federal direct student loans would be eliminated
$347 million in funding for special needs children would be eliminated
$53 million for programs to improve teacher performance would be eliminated
$5.8 million in funding for underserved rural and low-income school districts would be eliminated
$3.6 million for programs to help Native American students would be eliminated
Education has always been a major influence in Rogers’s life. The son of public school teachers, Rogers is the product of the Graham County school system and helped pay his way through college with federal student aid. Today, he is married to Dr. Donna Tipton-Rogers, president of Tri-County Community College. Their two daughters attend Murphy Elementary in Cherokee County.