Tracking the Cuts: The Dismantling of Our Public Schools

Brunswick County educators get $1,000 bonuses to offset state education budget cuts

trackingCuts-web-600This week brings news of a bright spot (depending on how you look at it?) amid all of the local education budget cuts we’ve been reporting: Brunswick County educators will receive one-time, $1,000 bonuses to offset state budget cuts.

The AP reports that the Brunswick County Board of Education approved an increase in employee salary supplements and the one-time bonus during a board retreat last week. School officials say the bonuses will be paid in November.

Brunswick’s Finance Officer Freyja Cahill says the supplement schedule is competitive and will be used as a recruiting tool and to help prevent employees from leaving.

Brunswick County had to eliminate 19 teacher assistant positions this year and deal with cuts to instructional supplies.

Check out our growing list of school districts that have been forced to make difficult cuts for the 2013-14 school year. Read more


What lawmakers OUGHT to be doing today

As Clayton Henkel notes below, the General Assembly returns to Raleigh today to override the Governor’s vetoes of a pair of bills dealing with immigrant workers and drug testing of public benefits applicants.

In response, the good folks at Public School First NC released a statement this morning that highlights what lawmakers ought to be doing now that they’re back in the Capital City:

Despite Promises of Job Growth, Teaching Positions Cut Across North Carolina

Raleigh, NC—September 3, 2013— As the General Assembly convenes for a special session, Public Schools First NC urges legislators to acknowledge the drastic budget impacts already, affecting public education and to use this opportunity to restore funding. The predicted consequences of these cuts—the loss of teacher and teacher assistant positions, increases to class size, inadequate instructional supplies, and the trimming of special programs—comes on the heels of promises by elected officials to promote job growth. Read more


Legislature returns for veto override session

Governor Pat McCrory could see his first two vetoes overridden this afternoon with the legislature’s returns to Raleigh. In August, the governor vetoed House Bill 786, an Verify immigration bill, as well as House Bill 392, drug testing for welfare recipients.

Republicans, who support both bills, say they have the votes to override Gov. McCrory’s wishes. An override would require a vote of at least three-fifths of those present.

One bill that environmentalists had hoped would have earned the governor’s veto is not on the agenda. Governor McCrory signed the Regulatory Reform Act  late last month calling it ‘common sense legislation that promotes job creation.’

Grady McCallie of the NC Conservation Network appeared on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon over the weekend to explain why House Bill 74 was actually ‘the worst environmental bill of the legislative session.’

To learn why the 59-page, special interest bill earned that title, click below or visit the Radio Interview section of the Policy Watch website where you can download a podcast of the full interview with McCallie: