RALEIGH – It appears the significance and benefit of having Republican Council of State members is paying dividends, especially to tax payers whose money is often wasted in countless ways. If you didn’t know any better you’d think State Treasurer Dale Folwell was over at the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, with Mark Johnson’s focus on the efficacy of spending and budget management at the education agency.
“State Superintendent Mark Johnson listened last week as State Board of Education members bemoaned the millions of dollars in recent budget cuts to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The cuts have harmed staff and students, one board member explained, and he urged Johnson to join them in reaching out to state lawmakers to say “enough is enough.”
But Johnson declined. Instead, he said in his 11 months as superintendent he has found excessive spending at the state education agency and said he hopes an upcoming $1 million audit he has commissioned will root out any other potential waste at the agency.
The young Republican who kicked Democrat June Atkinson out of her comfortable post has been following through on campaign pledges to reign in waste and mission creep at DPI. He’s battled with the State Board of Education over hiring and firing powers, as well as pushing for greater authority to reign in the budget.
While Republicans narrowly lost out on the governor’s mansion, the opportunity to reform and clean up much of government and its profligate bureaucracy by winning a majority on the Council of State should not be taken for granted. With Folwell saving millions for the state pension fund and healthcare obligations, Republican State Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey presiding over the an insurance market facing a reversal of the bureaucratic behemoth that is Obamacare, and now Mark Johnson at DPI making real efforts to clean up one of the largest and most important institution in Raleigh.