May 4th was crossover. A deadline date that bills must pass one house of the general assembly in order to be heard in the next. Bills can be considered dead if they don’t go through at least one chamber by crossover. As someone who monitors the NC General Assembly its a date I’ve had on my calendar for a long time. With the new super majority of the NCGA, the barrage of bills and legislation went quickly through committees and onto the floors of our legislature. I listened in when I could. I followed threads and reporters. I also had real life obligations going on throughout the week. I ended up on Friday just tired and angry.

The thing that burns me the most really this week, isn’t what you’d expect. See, I’ve been expecting so much of this bad legislation. It felt this year it was only a matter of time and Tricia Cothman was the spark of an already building fire. I’m not so desensitized yet that the fall of reproductive rights doesn’t bother me, but it is always easier to process the expected. The education committee was also busy taking up harmful bill after harmful bill. There were even bills that I’m just learning about that passed.

What broke me this week was the 15.8 million in local funding shortfall from the Wake County Commissioners draft budget. I didn’t expect the gap to be that wide between the Wake County School Board’s budget request of 55.8 million and the offering of only 40 million from the county manager’s budget draft.

Basically on a statewide level I’m watching the dismantling of human rights and the destruction of public education. The last thing I need right now is to have to go on the local level and fight even more battles. We had an election. Most, if not all of the current county commission talked about their commitment to public education. I helped many campaigns with lit drops, a meet and greet in my area, signs and poll greeting. I’ve done my advocating, I showed up. I expected them to keep to their word.

I shouldn’t have to beg for my supper. I shouldn’t have to show up on a random Tuesday when I’m tripled booked with everything else that is happening in our broken state. I shouldn’t have to write talking points and help with a campaign to fund our schools. Yet here I am. The public spoke in November with their votes for people they believed would fund our schools.

On May 1st, I went to the Wake County Commissioners meeting. On a whim, I gave a short public comment. I honestly don’t usually go without preparation into public comment, but I was feeling brave that day. I told the commissioners I was tired of writing the same speech every year. I was tired of asking them to fully fund the request from the Wake Public Schools.

I love and most notably need our public schools. So, it looks like I’ll be at a budget hearing sometime soon. At least I have speeches already prepared. Maybe I’ll use the one from 2017? I don’t even need to rewrite the entire speech. I just need to change the dollar amount. Wake County deserves better than this.

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