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Picking up right where the legislature left off last year, the newly-passed House Budget again targets the Clean Water Management Trust Fund with policy changes that will likely gut the long-term effectiveness of the state’s primary capital investment resource for developing clean water infrastructure in North Carolina’s rural communities.

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Most people paying attention to the American economy over the least few decades are already well-aware that “trickledown economics” – the notion that if the rich are allowed to gorge themselves, significant wealth will “trickle down” to folks at the lower levels — is hogwash. As has been shown repeatedly, the gap between the rich and everyone else continues to grow at an alarming rate.

This morning, however, we do see compelling evidence of another kind of trickledown effect that is real; it’s taking place right here in North Carolina. This trickledown effect involves the state budget and its impact in the real world.

Here’s how it works: Read More

A lot of good folks are providing excellent, up-to-the-minute coverage of the State Board of Education hearing todayat which county school superintendents are speaking up on the reality they confront. It sounds like the shortsighted budget-cutting policies of the General Assembly are being raked over the coals.

Check out  https://twitter.com/Fitzsimon,  https://twitter.com/SarahOvaska, https://twitter.com/NC_Children,  https://twitter.com/ProgressNow_NC and   https://twitter.com/nckidscountjust to name a few.

 

 

The N.C. House Select Committee on Education Reform will meet at 1 p.m. this afternoon, moving their meeting away from the N.C. General Assembly building to the campus of Wake Technical Community College.

But just what they’ll be talking about is still a bit of a mystery this morning, just a few hours before the meeting is scheduled to begin.

No agendas have been released to the public, according to the office of N.C. Rep. Hugh Blackwell, the co-chair of the House committee.

Update: Since we put up this post at 10:30 a.m. this morning, the agenda to the meeting has been posted. Click here to see for yourself.  A hat tip to Terry Stoops at the conservative John Locke Foundation for pointing out that the agenda items were released a couple of hours before the public meeting. 

On the agenda are discussion about a deaf student’s Bill of Rights, a Florida Advanced Placement initiative, articulation issues in higher education, school air quality improvements and higher education tuition comparisons.

And that means no clues to the public about what this group of legislators will be discussing, and who they’ll be hearing from.

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A news story that aired on Raleigh’s NBC-17 News last night claimed to offer a “reality check” on how budget cuts affected teaching jobs in North Carolina’s public schools.

Unfortunately, the story left viewers with a mistaken impression that North Carolina’s public schools have weathered recent budget cuts without losing many teaching positions. Although the story is correct to note that 534 teachers were laid off this school year, in addition to 1,260 teacher assistants (based on August 2011 data), layoffs are less relevant than positions lost when looking at the impact of budget cuts on North Carolina’s public schools.

According to the latest data from the NC Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI), North Carolina’s public schools (excluding charters) have 15,497 fewer full-time personnel this year compared to three years ago. Just under one in three of those position losses (4,840) occurred in the last year, and seven in ten of those lost positions since 2009 are the result of fewer teachers (5,134) and teaching assistants (5,738). Read More