By: Andy Miller
I support the governor’s efforts to combat the extreme education cuts that have been and continue to be carried out by the Republican-led General Assembly. In December, I was part of a group of over 350 students who went to Western Carolina University to discuss the budget cuts with several elected representatives and school officials. This forum was called “Cuts Hurt,” and was a place where the voices of students could be heard. Governor Perdue heard our voices–she sent us a video expressing her support for our efforts and pledging to fight education budget cuts. At Cuts Hurt,” many discussed how a small increase in sales tax could help offset the cuts to education. I, and many others, would rather pay an extra three-fourths of a cent next time I buy a candy bar than see my tuition increase by thirteen percent. Education is one of the most important functions funded by the state, and I am proud to have a governor like Beverly Perdue who places partisanship and career politics beside her to stand up for what is right–the future of North Carolina. Better education funding, while immediately costing the state more money, will, in the long run, improve the economy of the state. A better educated population will make North Carolina more attractive to businesses. With such a low level of per-pupil spending, North Carolina cannot compete with other states in attracting businesses. Perdue knows this, and she knows education is the number one necessity in keeping old and attracting new businesses. I am a 21 year-old college student. I have hardly a dime to my name, but I support the small tax increase to repair our damaged education system. If a poor college student such as me is willing to pay, you, too, should be.
Andy Miller is a senior at Western Carolina University studying Philosophy and International Studies.