Damning report on teachers' out-of-pocket expenses

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When government austerity creeps into the classroom:

Pencils, pens, crayons, construction paper, T-shirts, snacks and, sometimes, a pair of shoes: The costs add up for public school teachers who reach into their own pockets for classroom supplies, ensuring their students have the necessities of learning. Nearly all teachers are footing the bill for classroom supplies, an Education Department report found, and teachers in high-poverty schools spend more than those in affluent schools.

The report, prepared by the National Center for Education Statistics and released Tuesday, is based on a nationally representative survey of teachers during the 2015-2016 school year. It found that 94 percent of teachers pay for classroom supplies, spending an average of $479 a year. About 7 percent of teachers spend more than $1,000 a year.

Keep in mind, this is a national report. When your state's per-pupil spending hovers in the bottom 20% of schools nationwide, the burden that falls on teachers (and their students) is that much greater. We can no longer afford the GOP's bait-and-switch, where they moan about out-of-control spending, cut back on programs, brag about surpluses, then give huge tax cuts to the rich. And then when budget time comes again, they restart the same old formula. It amounts to incremental decay of our public education system, something that takes decades to repair. This is not a new problem; teachers have been suffering this funding nightmare for years. So why now? Why the big push for more responsible government funding? Because in the last 25 years or so, teachers' incomes have been steadily declining in comparison with comparable non-teacher professionals, making it much harder to make ends meet:

Wednesday News: He's Not Here

NC SUPERINTENDENT LITERALLY DISTANCES HIMSELF FROM TEACHER RALLY: As thousands of teachers gather in Raleigh on Wednesday to push state lawmakers for more education funding, North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson will be more than 100 miles away, meeting with school officials near the coast. Johnson said last week he "absolutely" supports teachers but won't attend the rally because it's on a school day and will affect students, parents and other school workers who are forced to deal with schools closing that day. At the time, nearly a dozen school districts had announced they were closing due to the teacher rally, and Johnson said he hoped no others would follow. Since then, the number of school systems closing has ballooned to 42. As many as 15,000 teachers from across North Carolina are expected to march, rally and meet with lawmakers Wednesday to ask for more education funding, including higher teacher salaries.
https://www.wral.com/as-thousands-of-teachers-rally-in-raleigh-nc-superintendent-will-be-100-miles-a...

Can we really afford this?

We march and demonstrate on different policies and outrages but why, why are we not over-running the state legislature over this transparent attempt to appease the stupid investments and reckless caretaking of Duke Energy. If a foreign country had done the damage to our state that Duke had done, we would be outraged but, now Duke wants us to pay for their sins and make sure they cannot be held liable in the future. OMG

Please look at what we are being made victim to and look at the site below.

https://www.bigfansofwind.com/

Tuesday News: Moral Mondays are back

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POOR PEOPLE'S CAMPAIGN BLOCKS TRAFFIC ON JONES STREET TO HIGHLIGHT POVERTY AND INJUSTICE: Protesters blocked traffic in front of the North Carolina Legislative Building on Monday as part of a national campaign to draw attention to poverty in statehouses across the country. Raleigh police cited 49 people with impeding the flow of traffic on Jones Street, which passes by the front door of the halls of power in North Carolina's capital where the Republican-led General Assembly has spent much of the past decade charting a new political course for this state. At the afternoon protest, they hoisted signs that said "Systemic Racism Is Immoral," "Invest in People Not Prisons," "Fight Poverty, Not the Poor," "Got Money For War, But Can't Feed the Poor." It was one of many days of protest and direct action scheduled during the next 40 days, culminating in a rally in Washington, D.C.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article211108754.html

Manning vs. Budd: NC's 13th shaping up to be an epic battle

And Ted Budd better pack more than a lunch:

It looks as though politically attuned residents of the 13th Congressional District might be getting something this year that hasn’t been seen in these parts for quite a while. The novelty? A highly competitive, evenly matched contest for North Carolina’s 13th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, one that could keep pollsters and political operatives on the edge of their chairs till the last vote is tabulated Nov. 6.

The rising tide of interest in the clash between freshman incumbent U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) and Democratic challenger Kathy Manning of Greensboro also extends to the national level, where activist groups across the political spectrum see it as one of about 30 races pivotal for the Republican Party’s chances of retaining its House majority against what some prognosticators view as a looming “blue wave” favoring Democrats.

Just a historical note: The only reason Ted Budd ended up in Washington in the first place was because the Club For Growth saw an opportunity to take advantage of a crowded GOP Primary, and poured money in so Budd could squeak by with a measly 20% of the vote. This race is going to garner national attention all the way through to November, and it's likely to get very ugly before it's over:

Monday News: Lies, damned lies, and statistics

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MAJORITY OF NC'S TEACHERS EARN LESS THAN REPORTED "AVERAGE" SALARY: More than half of Wake County's teachers make the state's average teacher salary, $51,214, or more, according to November 2017 salary data the district provided to WRAL News. Less than half of Durham Public Schools' teachers make the state's average teacher salary, $51,214, or more, according to data the district provided. About a third of Cumberland County teachers make the state's average teacher salary, $51,214, or more, according to data the district provided. Clay County, in the far western part of the state, is one of four North Carolina school districts where teachers get no supplemental pay. A majority of their teachers do not make the state's average teacher salary, $51,214, or more, according to data the district provided. Like Clay County, the majority of Graham County's teachers make less than the state's average teacher salary, $51,214, according to data the district provided.
https://www.wral.com/nc-s-average-teacher-makes-51-214-how-many-teachers-make-that-/17542690/

10 Years on Blue NC

Senator Barack Obama had just won the North Carolina primary against Senator Hillary Clinton the week before. Senate candidate Jim Neal, whose campaign I had interned on, hoping to see the first openly gay Senator elected at a time when my love was illegal, had just lost to Kay Hagan. And most importantly, our state had finally mattered in a truly electrifying presidential primary. That's when I signed up for an account at Blue NC, on May 12th 2008. It was time to start posting on a site I had been reading and using to inform my voting and activism.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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ON WEDNESDAY, LEGISLATORS SHOULD GREET TEACHERS AS PARTNERS, NOT THE ENEMY: Thousands -- even tens-of-thousands -- of teachers, school administrators, parents of students and supporters will be in Raleigh to press for greater respect for and funding of our public school system. Legislators rarely have to face, eye-to-eye, those who are affected by the laws they pass. It is not comfortable. But it comes with the territory when legislators ask voters for the privilege to represent them. The 170 members of the General Assembly need to understand one VERY important thing. These visitors are NOT THE ENEMY. These fellow North Carolinians are coming to the state capital because they believe it is their job – and the legislature’s duty to fully support – our State Constitution’s guarantee of a “sound basic education” where “equal opportunities shall be provided for all students.”
https://www.wral.com/editorial-next-week-legislators-should-greet-teachers-as-partners-not-the-enemy...

Saturday News: New "Hall of Shame" inductee

REPUBLICAN MARK BRODY RANTS ABOUT "TEACHER UNION THUGS" ON FACEBOOK: State Rep. Mark Brody, a Republican from Union County near Charlotte, posted a letter on his Facebook page Friday criticizing teachers who plan to march on May 16 instead of teach. "Let's call this what it is, Teacher Union thugs want to control the education process!" he posted. "I am speaking up because I don't want Union County schools, and for that matter all NC school systems, to turn into Chicago. Let the Union thugs get their way now and we are half way there." Mark Jewell, NCAE president, said Brody's post is offensive to teachers who have been given permission to take the day off by their districts to raise awareness about their work conditions. "It's another example of the disrespect educators are getting from some legislators in the General Assembly," Jewell said, adding "It's the state's responsibility to fund public schools. We're $2,600 below the national average in per pupil funding."
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article210978129.html

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