teddyrooseveltprogressive's blog

First in Flight, Last in Education

Personal finance website Wallethub is out with some new rankings of the states with the best -and worst- public schools.

North Carolina comes in at #37 in the rankings and is #47 in school spending.

Of course, this ranking probably doesn't take into account the latest budget from the legislature and the teachers that have fled the state or dropped out of teaching here in the past few months.

Story here.

NC Republican budget on the spin cycle

After using NC's teachers as pawns in the budget debate, the NC Republicans are now using them as a PR tool to hide facts about their budget. This is one of three posts on their Facebook page, all with the same talking point - the only talking point they have about the budget.

They've been spamming teachers and faculty in the UNC system, asking them to "Like" this photo and thank them for the raise. From what I've seen around my feed, the teachers aren't too happy being used as a Republican PR tool.

First in Freedom! - A business opportunity

Are you a North Carolina entrepreneur? Or would you like to raise funds for your favorite liberal organization?

Have I got an opportunity for you!

One of the little-noticed provisions in the legislature's recently passed budget is this little gem:

Gives drivers a choice between license plates with the "First in Flight" slogan or a "First in Freedom" slogan.

It's illegal to deface any part of a North Carolina license plate. However, one can have a frame outside of the plate that includes a slogan.

Imagine driving down the highway and seeing a North Carolina license plate that says "First in Flight" or "First in Freedom" along the top and one of the following phrases at the bottom:

  • Last in Education

NC's racist family cap law

In all the rush of the current NC legislature's shenanigans, one blatently racist bit of NC law has been forgotten about - family caps.

Slate has a piece about state "family cap" laws, which limit welfare benefits for recipients that have more children. They cropped up under the Gingrich "Contract with America" days, based on stereotypes of "welfare queens" "gaming" the system to get more cash. Family cap laws are under discussion in California.

Many studies have shown the laws do not work. Instead, they drive families into "deep poverty", making them a bigger burden on charities and other parts of the public system. More importantly, the author points out that these laws are a "compassionate conservative" form of eugenics, inserting the state in family planning issues.

LGBT "Safe Spaces" at Alamance Community College upset trustees

Trustees as Alamance Community College, including one who is running for commissioner, are reaching for their smelling salts and heading for the fainting couches because ACC has set up "Safe Spaces" for LGBTs.

This program, seen at many colleges and universities, is designed to train counselors, faculty and staff on how to talk openly with LGBTQ students - or anyone at the college - about LGBT issues in a tolerant environment.

Ingle, the candidate for County Commissioner, has been campaigning at local Baptist churches. Perhaps he needs to get out and meet other citizens of Alamance.

Republican Rep Fulghum calls for constitutional convention

Remember that post a few days ago at BlueNC by Posmo about how the radical Republicans were planning on calling a constitutional convention to strip power from the Federal government and ensure Republican control?

Republican Representative Jim Fulghum is getting the ball rolling here in NC with a proposal for a constitutional convention.

Budget busted by $60 million Pope and DHHS goof

WRAL is out with the news this morning that the Department of Health and Human Services has blown a $60 million hole in the state's budget. Budget Director Art Pope and DHHS head Aldona Wos issued a press release this morning, revealing that the state had violated Federal guidelines on Medicaid.

During budget meetings earlier this year, Department of Health and Human Services officials guaranteed lawmakers that they had the Medicaid budget under control and that there would be no late-spring surprises from unexpected cost overruns. While this isn't a billing error or computer glitch like those that have plagued the department in the past, it is a nasty fiscal shock that comes in the middle of the budget process.

Paranoid Rick Gunn prompts confiscation of reporter's recorder at open committee meeting

In the Senate today, the Sergeant-at-Arms confiscated the recorder of a reporter for WUNC radio during a Commerce Committee meeting. The confiscation was prompted by Rick Gunn:

"One other housekeeping (item), if I may. As a courtesy, all individuals with recording devices, whether audio or video, are required to be approved by the sergeant-at-arms," Sen. Rick Gunn, R-Alamance, said roughly 45 minutes into the two-hour meeting.

Gunn's statement - and the confiscation - run counter to NC's open meeting laws.

State Employees Association of North Carolina extends membership to student athletes

The State Employees Association of North Carolina has approved a plan to offer membership to student athletes at the state's 17 public universities. The decision comes on the heels of a decision by a Federal labor officials that student athletes at Northwestern could form a union.

The move will no doubt cause the Republicans in the state legislature to go apoplectic. How soon before they try passing a law banning student athletes from joining a union?

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