Past the tipping point: NC's teacher losses continue unabated

Too little, too late:

They say teachers can't wait any longer for a pay raise, and some of them aren't.

"I quit" was the bold headline on the resignation letter from Wake County teacher Nicole Truehart that was published Friday in The News & Observer.

Last month, Wake County schools announced 600 teachers have resigned since July. Trueheart signed her resignation letter number 601. "Too little too late," Truehart said. "I just am done with it. I've had enough."

It's a huge problem, and one that could have been avoided. And not just by giving raises to teachers, either. That part is critical, but serving as a background to the money issue is the sheer contempt for teachers exhibited by Republicans for the last 3-4 years. All the talk about failing schools and not being able to fire bad teachers (not true, by the way) has been a steady drumbeat that has taken a toll on the hearts and minds of our teachers. And even this good news is limited to only 2 out of 100 counties:

11 other things you should know about Thom Tillis

On May 6th, when voters were turning out for primaries here in NC, the Washington Post published a fluff piece about Thom Tillis, full of little "factoids" to help DC insiders have some conversation starters at cocktail parties about an eventual (possible) new face in town.

A few of the fascinating things we learned from the Post's listicle:

He sends messages with lollipops. Tillis would keep a mug full of Dum Dum lollipops on his desk. If he thought an idea was, well, less than brilliant, he would reward its author with a sweet treat that sent a less-than-subtle message.

Doesn't that sound like Reagan's jellybean fetish in a more twisted, Machiavellian sort of way?

Tillis likes the outdoors. He’s an avid water skier and mountain biker.

Magazine Ranks North Carolina Number Four In Right Wing Political Ideology Business Climate

When people talk about businesses and business climate, never underestimate what it is, exactly, they're talking about. It's not the mom and pop businesses in North Carolina and across the nation; the ones that overwhelmingly are the greatest job creators. It's not the businesses for which many are on a shoestring budget, a namesake in a community, a passion or dream which is, or has come to, fruition. No, it's the big boys. And deep pocketed, politically influencing big boys.

Another magazine, another ranking. North Carolina gets top billing for 2014 based on "Passes tax-reform package hailed as by some as any state’s best in two decades." Or "Areas in North Carolina like Raleigh, Charlotte, Cary, Chapel Hill and Durham have been great places for technology companies. The workforce in these areas have very talented candidates. The western part of the state does not fair as well.”

Stop it

If I see another newspaper or tv station peddling this kind of horseshit, I might just have to throw up.

"Dare County is the capital of travel and tourism," McCrory said. "One reason we were able to give teachers a pay raise was because of tourism spending."

The Capitol Press corpse and other mainstream media in North Carolina (and in this case, Virginia) fell for McCrory's head-fake on teacher pay like a bunch of bush-league rookies. Instead of starting with the only question that counts - where is the damn money coming from - they're reporting McCrory's "plan" as though it actually matters.

You've been played, guys. Every single one of you.

DAG McCrory eyeing state lands for fracking test wells

It's my property and I'll do what I damn well please with it:

Gov. Pat McCrory wants the state to get into the fracking business by allowing drilling test wells for natural gas on public lands to help determine North Carolina’s potential as an energy producer. On shale gas — mined by injecting water, sand and chemicals into the ground to free gas deposits — McCrory said the state needs to step in itself. He said the state owns land in “three or four counties that we think are really good possibilities for natural gas exploration.”

Asked by CBJ reporter Erik Spanberg about the state’s response to the massive coal-ash spill from a Duke Energy plant into the Dan River, McCrory defended the state’s action. “I don’t know any state that has done more about coal ash than North Carolina,” he said. But he decried what he called the “politicization” of the coal-ash spill. Some groups spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads in the Raleigh television market on what he considered to be campaign ads against his administration.

That's because your administration has acted irresponsibly on several fronts, from the disembowelment and "politicization" of DENR to using deceptive legal tactics to protect Duke Energy's profits. Your administration has become one of the most dangerous entities in the state for our environment and health, and you can expect a hell of a lot more pushback in the future.

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