GOP meddling in teacher pay is like gasoline on a fire

Kicking turnover and teacher shortages into overdrive:

A pivotal legislative task force may be just beginning its dive into North Carolina’s school funding maze, but lawmakers’ hints that they may abolish the state’s teacher salary schedule or other state-set funding allocations is already spurring criticism from local district advocates. Talk of nixing a state-set pay scale emerged this year when lawmakers took on a revamp of school principal pay, and it’s resurfaced multiple times in the Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform’s first meetings in November.

The state’s teacher pay struggles coincide with massive teacher shortages in many of the state’s 100 counties, as well as a substantial drop in students seeking teaching degrees in the UNC system. Mark Jewell, president of the N.C. Association of Educators (NCAE), the top lobbying organization for North Carolina teachers, said lawmakers’ invitation to ditch the salary schedule would be “short-sighted,” adding it may “jeopardize teacher retention and recruiting.”

With every year that passes under Republican reign, it becomes more clear what they are actually trying to achieve: A massive failure of our pubic school system. Making it much easier to stimulate the growth of charters and private schools, pushing millions of taxpayer dollars into the pockets of businessmen instead of genuine educators. In a political environment where scams are around every corner, this one has the potential to top all the others by a wide margin.

Friday News: That's it, you're done

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DEQ REVOKES WASTEWATER DISCHARGE PERMITS FOR GENX MANUFACTURER: The state revoked permits Thursday for the factory accused of dumping pollutants into the main source of drinking water for southeastern North Carolina. State regulators in the Department of Environmental Quality had been criticized by several legislators earlier this year – both Democrats and Republicans – who accused them of not acting swiftly enough to address the release of a chemical called GenX. They took their harshest action yet on Thursday, stripping the factory’s permission to put any of its wastewater into the river from here on out. The Cape Fear is the source of drinking water for cities like Fayetteville, Wilmington and others in that corner of the state.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article185087373.html

Profiles in idiocy: GOP women who voted for Trump have buyer's remorse

Sometimes your explanation just makes things worse:

Republican women who voted for President Trump in North Carolina said during a focus group Wednesday night that they are embarrassed by and exasperated with him.

-- Annie Anthony, 56, voted for Trump last year because she opposes abortion and did not like how Hillary Clinton handled Benghazi. Now she fears that Trump is marching us toward war with North Korea. She describes the first 10 months of his presidency as “chaotic, stressful and an uphill battle.”

Benghazi? During his campaign, Trump demonstrated time and time again that he wasn't even remotely qualified to serve as President, that he had nothing but contempt for women and viewed them as merely sexual toys to be played with when the mood came on him, and that he would lie about any subject, no matter how easily that lie would be exposed. But you didn't like Clinton because of a totally fabricated controversy that Fox News fed to you every day. You should be embarrassed, and don't expect the slightest bit of sympathy for your condition.

Thursday News: Supremely qualified

GERRYMANDERING OPPONENT ANITA EARLS ANNOUNCES RUN FOR NC SUPREME COURT: The 57-year-old Democrat from Durham announced her candidacy for the one seat on the seven-member bench that will be open in the 2018 elections. “I passionately believe in the importance of the right to vote, and that an independent judiciary is crucial to the balance of powers necessary to maintain democratic government of, by and for the people,” Earls said. “... In these times, I am seeing how those values are under attack, and I admire the determination of ordinary people who take great risks to stand up for their rights.” In her recent travels around the state, Earls said she tells people who are concerned about North Carolina “to continue to believe that they can make a difference by engaging in our democracy.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article18...

Coalition headed by ACLU files suit for farm workers in NC

Democracy NC wants BoE to probe Forest television studio issue

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Somebody needs to look that gift camera in the mouth:

A voting rights organization has asked North Carolina election officials to scrutinize spending by a nonprofit group for equipment for a television studio in the office of Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.

Democracy North Carolina Executive Director Bob Hall wrote a letter Monday to the state elections board seeking review of $60,000 in purchases by what’s called the North Carolina Promotion and Development Fund. WRAL-TV reported the fund owns the equipment, which Forest can use to produce videos about issues important to him. One fund donor is a longtime Forest supporter.

And while they're at it, they might as well look into all the renovations this same supporter did to the Hawkins-Harnett House, which this little blurb leads people to believe Forest paid for it himself:

Wednesday News: Truth or consequences

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SESSIONS HAVING TROUBLE REMEMBERING ALL THE LIES HE'S TOLD TO CONGRESS: A defiant Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Congress on Tuesday he never lied under oath about Russian interference in the 2016 election and said sleep deprivation and the "chaos" of the Trump campaign clouded his recollections of campaign contacts with Russians. Sessions sought to explain away apparent contradictions in his public statements by portraying President Donald Trump's campaign as an exhausting operation and said he could not be expected to remember specific encounters from more than a year ago. "In all of my testimony, I can only do my best to answer all of your questions as I understand them and to the best of my memory," Sessions told the House Judiciary Committee. "But I will not accept, and reject, accusations that I have ever lied under oath. That is a lie."
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article184480278.html

Tuesday News: Stopped clock version

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BOTH BURR AND TILLIS CALL FOR ROY MOORE TO EXIT SENATE RACE: North Carolina Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr joined a growing group of Republicans calling for Roy Moore to drop out of the Alabama Senate race after a fifth woman publicly accused the former judge of sexual misconduct Monday. “The allegations leveled at Roy Moore are disturbing. I have serious concerns about his prior conduct and fitness for office. He should immediately withdraw from the race,” Tillis wrote on Twitter on Monday evening. Burr also called on Moore to withdraw from the race. “With 5 women now coming forward, Moore should do the right thing and withdraw from the race,” he said in a statement released by his office. It was his first public comment since the scandal erupted last week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he believed the women and called for Moore to get out of the race earlier Monday. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, also called for Moore to step down.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article18...

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Bound to be the hot topic for at least a few days:

Since Persily's mandate only covered a handful of districts, the redraw does not represent sweeping changes to the whole state, just a few clusters:

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