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The folks on Right-wing Avenue like to tell us that all is well in North Carolina’s K-12 education system after the last few years of budget cuts.

Well, actually, that’s not true; they like to tell us that everything is terrible and that we need to privatize and “voucherize” the whole thing, but that the cuts they’ve advocated and imposed over the last few years have had nothing to do with any of the problems.

Well, here’s the truth: Read More

Be sure to check out this morning’s edition of At the schoolhouse door from Chris Hill at the NC Justice Center’s Education and Law Project in which he uses the recent scandal surrounding a Wake County school board member as a starting point to discuss an even more troubling education scandal.

“While the story about Goldman is salacious, nothing is more scandalous than what North Carolina students face after its last rounds of state budget cuts.” 

Click here to read the entire post..

Millions of North Carolinians continue to cope with the Great Recession’s aftermath, according to data released yesterday by the Census Bureau. The North Carolina Budget and Tax Center (BTC) published a brief today showing that the state’s poverty rate held steady, household income fell, and income inequality grew. While policymakers fail to enact policies that support good jobs and reduce poverty, a middle-class life is increasingly out of reach for many North Carolinians. Read More

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(Cross-posted from the blog of the North Carolina Council of Churches).

By George Reed, Executive Director

You probably know how the phrase “canary in the coal mine” came into being, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it. Before there were other ways of monitoring for dangerous gases in coal mines, like carbon monoxide, miners took caged canaries with them into the tunnels. If gases were present, they would kill the canaries first, perhaps giving the miners a chance to escape. They were what we might call an early warning system today.

There were some big ole yellow canaries in the school bus lanes of Wake County’s public schools last week. The first days of the year were a disaster, at least in terms of transportation. Children waited for buses that ran late or never came at all. In the afternoons, some kids didn’t get home until 6:00 or later. The school system fielded thousands of calls from irate parents. Read More

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(Cross-posted from the editorial page of the Fayetteville Observer).

By Russell Baggett

Seventeen years ago this week, I was preparing for my first day at Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville. I was a relatively new kid in town. I was nervous – about fitting in with my classmates, about my clothes, about my classes, about just getting by.

Students across the state are feeling these same anxieties this week as they start the new school year, but many North Carolina parents are feeling anxious for a completely different set of reasons. Their kids are returning to public schools that have been forced to make some pretty drastic changes because of state budget cuts in recent years. Read More