NCDP Clips for Monday, August 24, 2015


LEGISLATURE 2015

House appoints opponents of sales tax shift to negotiate with Senate (Raleigh News & Observer) — Bad news for supporters of a proposed shift in sales tax dollars that would benefit rural counties: The House has appointed opponents of the plan to negotiate with the Senate.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article31838409.html

State Budget Still in Flux at a Cost of Millions to Taxpayers (Public News Service) — – North Carolina lawmakers have missed the deadline to pass a budget by eight weeks. According to published reports, it costs the state an extra $42,000 for every day the Legislature meets and there is still no firm budget in place for the next fiscal year.
http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2015-08-24/civic-engagement/state-budget-still-in-flux-at-a-cost-of-millions-to-taxpayers/a47824-1

POLICY & POLITICS

After Hagan’s no, Democrats wait for Burr challengers (AP) — Since Kay Hagan declined in June to run for a return to Washington, North Carolina and national Democrats have been looking for strong candidates to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr in 2016.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/after-hagans-no-democrats-wait-burr-challengers-2963275

GOP’s big-money plan to save the Senate (Politico) — To keep the Senate majority, Republicans plan to leverage what’s expected to be a huge money advantage, led by a hodge-podge of big-spending outside groups, to bloody Democratic challengers taking on a string of vulnerable GOP incumbents in pivotal swing states. This year, early spending has often come from obscure GOP-aligned groups. One Nation PAC, a group tied to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, has dropped six-figures into states like North Carolina and Pennsylvania to prop up Sens. Richard Burr and Pat Toomey, respectively.
http://www.politico.com/story/2015/08/2016-republican-senate-map-campaign-finance-121622.html

Group supporting teacher assistants urges General Assembly to provide funding (Charlotte Observer) — Time is running out. That’s the message educators had for state lawmakers Sunday afternoon at a press conference in downtown Fayetteville.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/article31914933.html

Amended voter identification law subject of court hearing (AP) — North Carolina’s voter identification mandate recently was eased before its slated 2016 start. But attorneys for voters and groups who oppose the law say the new exceptions don’t mean their lawsuit challenging voter ID should evaporate.
http://www.greensboro.com/news/north_carolina_ap/amended-voter-identification-law-subject-of-court-hearing/article_bfe09136-74ea-5bca-9eba-0d23636d5a99.html

Governor thanks teachers as most students return to school (AP) – In a campaign-style video, Gov. Pat McCrory is thanking teachers for their hard work as students on a traditional calendar return to school.
http://www.wral.com/governor-thanks-teachers-as-most-students-return-to-school/14850101/

McCrory Welcome Message to N.C. Teachers (McCrory Video) – Gov. Pat McCrory’ campaign-style video message to North Carolina teachers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtfrNjfF_Tw&feature=youtu.be

N.C. teacher pay remains in the basement (WRAL-TV) — Despite an effort to raise starting salaries, North Carolina is expected to remain in the bottom 10 states nationally in average teacher pay, according to a report released Wednesday. The National Education Association estimates the average salary for a North Carolina public school teacher in the 2014-15 school year at $47,783, which ranks 42nd nationally. In the 2013-14 school year, the state average was $44,990, or 47th nationally, according to the NEA.
http://www.wral.com/nc-still-lags-in-teacher-pay-student-spending/14522762/

Goldsboro prayer rally aims to make violence less familiar (WRAL-TV) – Rev. William Barber has been the face of the Moral Monday movement, crusading for social and political causes, but last week he saw violence come to his back door when a young man was murdered in a neighborhood behind his church in Goldsboro.
http://www.wral.com/goldsboro-prayer-rally-aims-to-make-violence-less-familiar-/14849510/

SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES

School Year Begins, But Districts Are Short On Teachers (WUNC-FM) — Hundreds of thousands of North Carolina public school students return to the classroom Monday. But many districts are still scrambling to find teachers for them. The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school district is among many districts seeing an increase in the number of open teaching positions.
http://wunc.org/post/school-year-begins-districts-are-short-teachers

Group supporting teacher assistants urges General Assembly to provide funding (Fayetteville Observer) — Time is running out. That’s the message educators had for state lawmakers Sunday afternoon at a press conference in downtown Fayetteville.

Schools to open with budget questions remaining (Wilmington Star-News) — State legislators are still squabbling over how to spend the $21.735 billion overall budget figure they only agreed on last week.
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20150824/ARTICLES/150829920/1004/ARTICLES?Title=Schools-to-open-with-budget-questions-remaining

Governor thanks teachers as most students return to school (AP) – In a campaign-style video, Gov. Pat McCrory is thanking teachers for their hard work as students on a traditional calendar return to school.
http://www.wral.com/governor-thanks-teachers-as-most-students-return-to-school/14850101/

McCrory Welcome Message to N.C. Teachers (McCrory Video) – Gov. Pat McCrory’ campaign video message to North Carolina teachers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtfrNjfF_Tw&feature=youtu.be

N.C. teacher pay remains in the basement (WRAL-TV) — Despite an effort to raise starting salaries, North Carolina is expected to remain in the bottom 10 states nationally in average teacher pay, according to a report released Wednesday. The National Education Association estimates the average salary for a North Carolina public school teacher in the 2014-15 school year at $47,783, which ranks 42nd nationally. In the 2013-14 school year, the state average was $44,990, or 47th nationally, according to the NEA.
http://www.wral.com/nc-still-lags-in-teacher-pay-student-spending/14522762/

Teacher turnover rates creeping back up (Wilmington Star-News) — After many years of steadily declining teacher turnover rates in New Hanover County Schools, the rate has begun to inch back up.
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20150824/ARTICLES/150829917/1004/ARTICLES?Title=Teacher-turnover-rates-creeping-back-up

Students, parents prepare for changes as new school year begins (WRAL-TV) — Wake County, the largest school system in the state, has implemented some changes that will have a wide-spread impact.
http://www.wral.com/students-parents-prepare-for-changes-as-new-school-year-begins/14849746/

Poll: Low marks for grading teachers based on kids’ tests (AP) — Many Americans, especially public-school parents, give low marks to rating a teacher based partly on how students perform on standardized tests, according to a survey. The Gallup Poll released Sunday found 55 percent opposed linking teacher evaluations to their students’ test scores. Among those with children in public schools opposition was stronger, at 63 percent.
http://www.journalnow.com/news/nation_world/poll-low-marks-for-grading-teachers-based-on-kids-tests/article_330e5672-729c-5688-b008-b7aca1cb9607.html

Points Of Brilliance From English 9, English B (EdNC column) — As this state has wrestled with the “war on education” this summer, I have thought about the war for education.
https://www.ednc.org/2015/08/24/points-of-brilliance-from-english-9-english-b/

Good Neighbors or Conspirators? (Inside Higher Ed) — Some say it’s bad form for colleges to actively recruit faculty members from neighbor institutions. Antitrust lawsuit alleges that agreement between Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill essentially barred Duke from hiring UNC faculty.
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/08/24/faculty-non-poaching-lawsuit-alleges-suppression-wages-and-violation-anti-trust-laws

University repays VA nearly $150K for benefits’ overpayment (AP) — Elizabeth City State University has repaid the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs nearly $150,000 for overpayment of veterans’ benefits after a VA audit found the school miscalculated or incorrectly reported those benefits in more than 100 instances.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/university-repays-va-nearly-150k-benefits-overpayment-2963363

Scientists trace autism ‘pathway’ from gene to brain (LA Times) — Most experts agree that a combination of genes and environmental factors are at play. Autism has been linked to air pollution, maternal nutrition, certain pesticides and endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in flame retardants and other products, said Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park. But autism is also thought to be associated with genetic mutations, or errors in DNA.
http://www.latimes.com/nation/sns-tns-bc-med-autism-gene-20150823-story.html

EDITORIALS

Heeding Bob Hall’s call on video poker investigation (Raleigh News & Observer) — Hall advocates that the Wake County District Attorney and U.S. Attorney’s Office muster their power and authority to really go after the potential corruption of the political system by a self-interested industry – video poker — wanting to preserve what it views as potentially multi-millions of dollars in income. Hall’s instincts are proven. The prosecutors should study his findings and the claims he bases on those findings and put the video poker industry through its paces, not just one more time but as many times as it takes.
http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/editorials/article31825005.html

Costly delay (Greenville Daily Reflector) — Got an extra $1.13 million lying around? The state legislature must think so.
http://www.reflector.com/opinion/editorials/nc-editorial-costly-delay-2963605

Duke Energy already recycling coal ash (Fayetteville Observer column) — We at Duke Energy agree that as much coal ash as possible should be recycled. State policy leaders also strongly support the option and outlined provisions in the N.C. Coal Ash Management Act to encourage recycling. Currently, we recycle approximately 47 percent of the ash produced in a year across our system.
http://www.fayobserver.com/opinion/local_columns/george-hamrick-duke-energy-already-recycling-coal-ash/article_4b7384b8-2cc1-59f6-8d59-321f98ec3829.html

Building the road to prosperity in Eastern N.C. (Raleigh News & Observer column) — Investing now in the proposed interstates for the U.S. 70 corridor, U.S. 17 corridor and other roads would benefit not only those living in the eastern Coastal Plain but the entire state as well.
http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article31819443.html

You don’t want to be poor in Raleigh (Raleigh News & Observer) — Although the Triangle wins accolades for quality of life, upward mobility is poor
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/rob-christensen/article31959672.html