NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 24 min ago

Moral Monday demonstrators: Revisit last year’s tax cuts, stop the cuts to education (audio postcard)

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 22:34
Educators, parents, and concerned citizens returned to the legislature Monday evening urging lawmakers to find a better way to fund education. Demonstrators voiced their displeasure at budget plans that would cut teaching assistants, school nurses, textbook funds, and the university system to cover teacher pay raises this year. Several in the crowd on Halifax Mall ...

Pitt County Schools budget director: Senate budget proposal makes teachers into pawns in a political game

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 16:34
Michael Cowin, Assistant Superintendent of Finance for Pitt County Schools, had some startling words for Pitt County School Board members last week, when he presented them with the Senate’s 2014 budget proposal for education. “It appears that the Senate’s version of the budget proposes salary increases for teachers as a pawn in a political game ...

NC Budget Magnifying Glass: Senate budget cuts to economic development would spawn nightmare on (rural) main streets

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 15:14
This is the 6th post of a Budget and Tax Center blog series on public services and programs that face cuts in the budget process or have been underfunded in past years. See the other posts here. If the Senate budget passes this year, rural communities are going to be living through a nightmare. Despite ...

State helicopter ends EBay sale with no bidders

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 15:04
The state’s decision to put its 1998 Sikorsky helicopter up for sale  this year didn’t attract any bidders — an online sale on EBay ended this afternoon without any takers. Maybe the $1.5 million price tag was too much for the seven-seat helicopter. Gov. Pat McCrory said in early May he was planning to put ...

Remembering the legacy of Maya Angelou (Video)

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:51
Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that ...

Countdown to opt into universal school meal initiative (22 days)

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:17
Twenty-two (22) days remain for eligible local schools in North Carolina to confirm whether they will adopt a universal school meal program for the 2014-15 school year. One in five American schoolchildren can’t count on getting enough nutritious food at home. North Carolina can improve this bleak fact by encouraging eligible schools to sign up ...

New report: Low wage jobs continue to hold North Carolina families back

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:48
One in five North Carolina families earn too little to afford life’s essentials and move up the economic ladder. A North Carolina family of two adults and two children must earn $52,275 annually to afford housing, food, child care, health care, transportation, taxes and other necessities, based on the Budget & Tax Center’s Living Income ...

The week ahead for education

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 11:10
If you follow education news in North Carolina, there’s a lot to keep your eyes on this week. The week kicks off with Moral Monday, which is focused on education. A pre-rally meeting begins at 3pm in the legislative auditorium of the General Assembly building, followed by a 4pm press conference. The actual rally takes place ...

Five things to watch this week on Jones Street (audio)

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 10:50
1. Moral Monday – The school year is winding down and the State Legislature is working on the 2014-15 budget at a frenetic pace. Teachers, students and parents will be speaking out at this afternoon’s Moral Monday demonstration to show support for public education. Look for a sea of red this afternoon when the protest ...

Denying the climate crisis and the right’s perverse notions of “freedom”

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 10:12
Economist extraordinaire Dean Baker has a great post on The Guardian this morning about conservative ideologues and their stubborn (but gradually failing) defense of “climate denialism.” As Baker notes, the right likes to pretend that it’s all about rugged individualism and curbing “entitlements” but a closer look at the facts often reveals a different reality. ...

Governor’s hometown newspaper pushes him to stand up to General Assembly

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 07:51
In case you missed it, the editorial page of the Governor’s hometown newspaper, the Charlotte Observer, is urging the man they endorsed for office back in 2012 to stand up the legislature over the repeal of the Common Core standards in education: “The governor reiterated his belief in Common Core again Thursday when he told ...

Judge rules revocation of teacher tenure, 25% contracts unconstitutional

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 15:35
Judge Robert H. Hobgood issued a written order in Wake County Superior Court today declaring the 2013 General Assembly’s actions unconstitutional in eliminating due process rights, or career status, for teachers who already had obtained it. Hobgood made the ruling three weeks ago and issued his written order today. The trial court also permanently halted the 25 ...

N.C.’s legislature addresses public record, open meeting requirements from charter schools

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 15:22
A legislative proposal to take charter schools out from under state public record and open meetings laws could potentially leave the public unable to see how millions in public dollars are spent. The Charlotte Observer reported today that a Senate education committee moved Thursday to back away from earlier endorsements of open government provisions in ...

Is the Senate’s teacher pay plan a clever way to keep teachers from retiring with pensions?

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 12:44
North Carolina educator and blogger James Hogan has an interesting take on the Senate’s proposed 21-step salary schedule for teachers, which would raise average salaries by 11.2 percent next year, provided that teachers relinquish their tenure. Hogan wonders: is the salary schedule, which provides teachers with no raises between years 20-29, cleverly designed to disincentivize teachers from ...

Cuts to Medicaid negatively impact independent living for populations with disabilities, says concerned mother

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 11:28
Recent proposed cuts under the state Senate budget not only affect programs and services for older adults, they also impact North Carolina’s population with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, says one concerned mother. David is fulfilling every dream I formulated for him. He has a vision for his future. He is happy, healthy and a contributing ...

Small loan industry chafing under provisions that protect military members; Tillis-Hagan race implicated

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 10:03
There’s word from the General Assembly that the consumer finance industry is unhappy with state law designed to help protect active members of the military from exploitation. In case you’ve forgotten, the consumer finance industry runs more than 400 storefront shops throughout North Carolina that make loans featuring high interest rates and fees. The loans ...

NC Budget Magnifying Glass: Holding out a tin cup for our schools

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 09:13
This is the 5th post of a Budget and Tax Center blog series on public services and programs that face cuts in the budget process or have been underfunded in past years. See the other posts here. The North Carolina Senate wants to take a sacred public trust, the education of our children, and subject ...

Editorial contains some rare love for the Guv

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 08:15
ICYMI, be sure to check out this editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer entitled “Gov. McCrory’s Medicaid plan should prevail.” As the editorial notes: “McCrory’s plan, developed over months of consultations with North Carolina providers, would make quality care its first goal, but it would also produce savings through preventative care and more efficient delivery ...

Common confusion: Common Core opponents wrongfully blame standards for testing explosion

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:00
If you missed it yesterday, be sure to read Lindsay Wagner’s story , “State Board of Education’s authority weakened with legislation that replaces Common Core,” over on the main Policy Watch site. It’s an extremely informative piece that explains the latest developments in North Carolina’s never-ending political game of legislative micromanagement of public schools. As ...

Another bid by the N.C. General Assembly to overhaul the Constitution (but this time, from the left)

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 13:21
Looks like North Carolina lawmakers from both the left and right want to see a reconvening of a Constitutional Convention of the States – but for very different reasons, as you’d imagine. For those in need of a U.S. history refresher, the Convention of the States last met in 1787 and the Constitution has language ...

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