• Behind the DPI School Personnel Numbers

    The Department of Public Instruction has released the final public school personnel [1] figures for 2011-12. Last week we posted preliminary school personnel data on the Civitas web site. How accurate was the preliminary data?  The percentage difference in annual staff changes by funding source (i.e., local, state and federal) between the preliminary and final […]

  • Gov. Perdue’s Tax Increase for Schools: A Bad Idea at a Bad Time

    Yesterday, Gov. Perdue released a statement supporting a three-quarters-of-one- cent increase in the state sales tax to stop what she says are “deep and unnecessary cuts to public schools.” I agree with Gov. Perdue’s assessment that education is key to our future. However, I cannot agree with her proposal to raise taxes.   The proposal is […]

  • Preliminary DPI Personnel Data Shows Increase in State-Supported Education Jobs

    Preliminary DPI Personnel Data Shows Increase in State-Supported Education Personnel Preliminary public school personnel data from the Department of Public Instruction shows that the number of state-supported public education personnel increased by 4,720 over the previous year. (Preliminary-DPI-School-Personnel-Data-2012)  The data stands in stark contrast to Gov. Beverly Perdue’s claims Republican state budget cuts have resulted […]

  • NCAE: A Giant Chasm Between Rhetoric and Reality

    NCAE: A Giant Chasm Between Rhetoric and Reality    Last week the North Carolina General Assembly successfully overrode Gov. Perdue’s veto of SB 727- No Dues Checkoff for School Employees. The legislation ends the practice of the state collecting dues check off payments for members of the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE). The reaction from […]

  • House Votes to End Dues Check Off Benefit for NCAE

    Late last night, amidst legislative maneuvering and name calling, House Republicans overrode Governor Perdue’s veto of SB-727 and voted to stop the state from collecting membership dues from public school employees.  Two Democrats (Rep. William Brisson – Bladen and Rep. James Crawford – Granville) joined with 67 Republicans in supporting the override. The legislation, sponsored by […]

  • Education Editorial: long on rhetoric, short on facts

    “It’s time for the Republican legislators to stop deluding themselves about the adequacy of their funding for public education.” Winston Salem Journal Editorial, November 15, 2011 That’s the reckless accusation of editors at the Winston-Salem Journal (WSJ) who assail Republican legislators in an editorial for slashing public school budgets, punting tough decisions to locals and […]

  • Class Size Ratios: Time to Throw Away an Outdated Idea

    For years a certain unquestioned assumption has governed North Carolina public schools: smaller class sizes in the lower grades will help boost student achievement. The formal term, “class size reduction” or CSR, determines how money is allotted to Local Education Agencies (LEAs).  In grades K-3, the ratio is one teacher per 18 students and the […]

  • State Lawmakers’ “Risky Business”

    Risk is the word of the day on Jones Street.  “At-risk” that is. A term used for deciding eligibility for the state’s Pre-K program (formerly More at Four), “at-risk” has had a rather fluid definition over the years. Now lawmakers are seeking to clarify, and perhaps alter, the state’s at-risk definition to tailor the program […]

  • School Job Losses in Large LEAs Contradict Left’s Talking Points

    An August 31st   press release by the Department of Public Instruction declared that this fall, the public schools will eliminate more than 6,300 positions and layoff more than 2,400 school staff—including over 530 teachers –  from existing positions.  A spreadsheet attached to the same document details how North Carolina public schools have lost more than 8 […]

  • The General Assembly’s Pre-K Lemons

    Life handed the General Assembly lemons, and they’re making… Well, for the time being they’re still just lemons. But recent developments at the General Assembly in the form of a legislative study committee could mitigate some of the Republican-controlled legislature’s public relations woes surrounding the state’s celebrated Pre-Kindergarten (formerly More at Four) program. Such legislative […]

  • Dem Budget Tour Brings Everything But the Truth

    Earlier this week House and Senate Democrats began a state wide budget tour to criticize the Republican-authored state budget and job losses in state government and the public schools. Democrat law makers, local officials and individuals directly impacted by budget cuts dutifully showed up at various stops to criticize policies and plead for more money. […]

  • What You Don’t Hear in the Discussion About Teacher Layoffs

    Remember this figure: 18,000 plus.  That figure, according to Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue and House minority leader Joe Hackney  ( D-Orange ), – is the number of public school jobs that would be lost if the Republicans passed their version of the 2011-12 state budget. Last week, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) released results […]

  • NCAE: Pick-a-Fact is Not a Useful Strategy

    The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) is mad. And they want you to be too. For the past several weeks, the organization has been decrying the impact of state budget cuts on schools around the state. Earlier this week John de Ville, a teacher at Macon County Schools and NCAE member, took his turn […]

  • Teaching Fellows: A Closer Look

    Recently the News & Observer ran a story and an editorial taking issue with my comments recommending the elimination of the Teaching Fellows program. This article is a response to the Thursday, August 4th News & Observer editorial N&O editors make a weak case for why North Carolina taxpayers should continue to fund the Teaching […]

  • Perdue Issues Executive Order, GOP Scapegoated for Manning Decision

    It’s becoming quite trendy to blame Republicans for the recent decision by Judge Howard Manning to decree that all at-risk children receive Pre-K services. GOP leadership in the General Assembly wrote the Pre-K budget, Manning ruled against the Pre-K budget, therefore Manning ruled against the GOP—or so their logic goes. “The North Carolina Democratic Party […]

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