NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Editorial on teacher assistant cuts: Berger knows his explanation doesn’t wash

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 09:25
In case you missed it, Raleigh’s News & Observer has an excellent editorial today that takes Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger to task for his wrongheaded action to fire thousands of teacher assistants. “Phil Berger knows better. A small-town lawyer by trade, the Republican president pro tem of the state Senate deals every day ...

“It is a crying shame the way the poor and elderly are being treated”

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 08:11
Recent budget proposals out of the NCGA will eliminate Medicaid coverage for nearly 12,000 elderly blind or disabled people, cut $1 million from a popular program that delivers meals and provides in-home health services to the elderly, and shut down several regional offices of the state’s child-developmental services agencies that help babies and toddlers with ...

N.C. lawmakers looking again at closing offices for program for disabled babies, toddlers

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 15:23
State lawmakers still want to see $10 million in cuts by shutting down four regional offices of a state health program that aids developmentally delayed babies and toddlers. The N.C. Infant-Toddler Program, an early intervention program managed under the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, faced $18 million in cuts in the two-year budget ...

Overview of NC House budget proposal

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 12:51
This morning, the House leadership released their $21.1 billion 2015 fiscal year budget for the period that runs from July 2014 to June 2015. It marks the midpoint between the Senate budget of $21.16 million and the Governor’s budget proposal of $20.99 billion. Similar to these other budget proposals, the House proposal leaves too many ...

Court rules in favor of Asheville in dispute over control of water system

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 12:23
In a victory for local rule, Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning, Jr. yesterday struck down a 2013 law transferring control of the Asheville water system to a newly-created regional entity as unconstitutional. As reported by the Asheville Citizen-Times: Manning said the law violates the state constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law ...

New report: Private prisons (including one in NC) reap big profits from warehousing immigrants

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 10:16
From the good folks at the ACLU of North Carolina: Report Shows Federal Bureau of Prisons Incentivizes Mistreatment, Shields Immigrant Prisons from Scrutiny WINTON, NC – Rivers Correctional Institution in Hertford County, North Carolina, is one of the 13 little-known CAR (Criminal Alien Requirement) prisons for immigrants in the United States. For a new report, ...

House proposal for Commerce privatization better than Senate’s… barely

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 10:13
North Carolina’s economic development efforts took a turn for the worse last night, when the Senate passed a bill that privatizes the state’s business recruitment, retention, and development activities. A similar proposal will likely pass the House today, and while the lower chamber’s privatization plan is marginally better than the Senate’s scheme, both leave a ...

Sen. Berger sits down with teachers in unexpected pow-wow on eve of House budget reveal

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 06:15
Last night’s Moral Monday demonstrations took an unexpected turn when Senate leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) decided to sit down with teachers, who were staked out in front of his office late last night, to debate some of the education policies he has put forward. WUNC Education Reporter Dave Dewitt has a great story about how ...

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 ...

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