The Winston-Salem Journal pulls no punches in this editorial this morning that criticizes legislative plans to dramatically expand Governor McCrory’s ability to use Chicago-style patronage hiring:
A governor, when taking office, deserves the right to put his or her own people in jobs when those jobs are assigned policy-making duties. To deny the governor that power would deny the governor the ability to govern.
But only a small number of state workers make policy. Most state workers don’t; for sure, there aren’t 1,500 state employees who make policy decisions. With the exception of a few hundred policymakers, state employees carry out the policies designed by their superiors. So McCrory only needs 1,500 political patronage jobs if he’s planning to fill state employee ranks with his political cronies.
What makes all this the more offensive and ironic, of course, Read More…
The North Carolina “Opportunity Scholarship Act” will gets its first hearing before the House Education Committee today.
Supporters contend House Bill 944 gives students a choice, a chance to attend a private institution that may better serve their individual needs.
But critics maintain that taxpayer money should stay within the public school system, and once that money is directed to private schools, there is no accountability to ensure that students are getting a high quality education.
Bill sponsor Rep. Rob Bryan says under the revised bill, $10 million would be earmarked for the program in its first year and $40 million the second year. Eligible families would receive an amount not to exceed $4,200 per year, per student.
Matt Ellinwood, a policy analyst with the Justice Center’s Education & Law Project, says lawmakers should be concerned because in education systems that have experimented with vouchers, traditional public school students regularly outperform voucher recipients.
Ellinwood joined us over the weekend on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon to discuss his research on vouchers and “opportunity scholarships.” Click below to hear a portion of the interview or click here to listen to the full radio interview or download a podcast.
The good people at the Covenant with North Carolina’s Children just released this statement on the Berger budget plan:
Senate budget short-changes NC’s children
Budget would cut funding for early education and K-12 schools and remove cap on class size
RALEIGH – Late Sunday night, Senate budget writers released their 2014-15 budget proposal, which includes deep cuts to education, early care and infant mortality prevention.
“This budget continues the ongoing deterioration of our public school system,” stated Rob Thompson, Executive Director of the Covenant with North Carolina’s Children. “If the Senate is serious about improving student outcomes, then underfunding schools and removing the cap on class size are the last things it should do.”
Now that the legislature’s “crossover” deadline has passed, committees are beginning to schedule bills that have already passed one house. A case in point: the hyper-controversial bill to reverse the Dix Park land deal between the state and the city of Raleigh.
The bill is scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary committee 15 minutes after the House adjourns this Wednesday. Looks like the House isn’t expecting that vague bit of public notice to keep interested people away. The notice says that “This meeting may last up to 2 hours.”