House lawmakers unveiled a draft biennial budget Monday that includes pay raises for all teachers and a patchwork of funding initiatives aimed at improving leadership and instruction — but what’s not in the budget is what some say will prove to be the biggest challenge ahead for North Carolina’s classrooms.
“The proposed House budget does not go far enough to ensure every child will receive a quality education in North Carolina,” said North Carolina Association of Educators’ president Rodney Ellis in a statement released Monday afternoon. “If we are serious about every child’s future, we must provide students with modern textbooks and technology, more one-one-one attention, and a quality educator in every classroom.” [Continue reading…]
Every state budget is a mixed bag of decisions that make sense and decisions that don’t, vital programs that receive needed funding and vital programs that are underfunded or even ignored.
Many budgets, including the version before the House this week, unfortunately also make policy changes that have never been considered before on the House or Senate floor or even debated in a committee.
Some of them are good ideas and some aren’t but most of them have no business in the budget where members can only vote yes or no. They deserve separate hearings and debates and votes. [Continue reading…]
3. Koch-onomics: On the march in NC
The Right’s shameless, myth-based attacks on renewable energy
There are, of course, dozens of ways in which the current political powers-that-be in North Carolina are trying to roll back the hands of time in the world of government and public policy. From voting rights to reproductive freedom, public education to tax policy, gun violence to the social safety net, the war on modernity and progress is being waged on numerous fronts.
If there were an award for the “most outrageous and destructive, greed-based attack of 2015” however, it would be tough to top the ongoing effort of conservative legislators and their supporters in the right-wing, Koch Brothers-supported “think tanks” to scuttle North Carolina’s fast-growing solar energy industry. [Continue reading…]
Just as the U.S. Supreme Court wraps up its term with decisions in several high-profile cases expected in late June, state and federal courts here will be gearing up for what promises to be a long hot summer for voting rights – with more to follow.
Several constitutional challenges to the sweeping voting law changes enacted in 2013 head to trial starting in July and the state Supreme Court rehears the redistricting case in August.[Continue reading…]
A controversial online university that credits students for their existing skills and knowledge could soon have a larger role in North Carolina, with a funding stream carved out in the state House’s version of the budget.
The Utah-based Western Governors University, which tends to compete with for-profit colleges like the University of Phoenix and Strayer University, is a non-profit that was founded in 1995 by a bipartisan group of governors from the western part of the country. [Continue reading…]