Category Archives: state budget issues

NC NOW Legislative Update #11 – more derision and secret budget deals

The week ending 15 April 2017 has been another busy week at the NCGA, as captured in North_Carolina_NOW_Legislative_Update_11.v3.16Apr17.

A bill introduced in the legislature again made North Carolina the object of national derision.  House Bill 780, Uphold Historical Marriage, declared that the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage is null and void in North Carolina and that the constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage should be enforced.  After a national outcry, Speaker Moore publicly announced that this bill will never be heard in committee, that it is dead.  But damage had already been done. See http://www.wral.com/gay-marriage-ban-filed-in-nc-house-/16639157/, 4/11/17.

Then neo-Confederate Rep. Larry Pittman (also a sponsor or HB780) attracted national attention by stating that Abraham Lincoln was the same kind of tyrant as Hitler. 

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Legislative Update #8 – budget, HB 2, TABOR, insensitive clod

Update on reconciling NC’s House and Senate Budgets, HB 2, and status of 2 proposed changes to NC’s Constitution – more concealed weapon carry rather than less in NC, and drastic tax cuts and capping the state income taxes (TABOR).

Read more at North_Carolina_NOW_Legislative_Update_8.18_June_2016

NC NOW May to July newsletter available online!

There is a lot going on with the fallout from the law known as HB 2 continuing to batter NC, the second primary that was Jun 7, the NCGA trying to change so much during the short session, protests at the legislature, continued stonewalling of African American women for federal positions (by Senator Richard Burr), teachers in the streets! Read about some of it in the NC NOW newsletter May-June 2016.

img_3013-receptionwithcindytpats-judylotas.emmedPhoto credit: Judy Lotas

The newsletter mentions to tragic mass shooting that happened at a gay nightclub at 2am on June 12, 2016, in Orlando, FL. A gunman “carried out the worst mass shooting in United States history, leaving 50 people dead and 53 wounded.” It does not include the Charleston 9 hate crime shooting that was the following week (after the newsletter was published). On Jun 18, 2016, nine people were murdered at a historic African-American Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where they were doing bible study. The victims included the female pastor and a Democratic Senator, also female. These two hate crimes happened within a week of each other, both in the Southeastern US.

Also read about how you can get involved. Note that chapter meetings are listed on front page of the newsletter.

Special treat: the Wisdom from the Internet on page 5.

Give teacher raises with one hand, but with the other hand..

The Senate and House Budgets both give teachers modest pay raises, but continue to ignore most other school staff. Instead of hiring back the over 3000 TAs they forced schools to drop in 2013, they are proposing ways to ‘help’ after a problem has been manifested with “literacy coaches.” More at “Proposed House education budget cuts $27 million for reducing first-grade class sizes, reallocates most to literacy coaches.”  At the same time, the NCGA plans to take even more money from public education.

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Teachers: Public school system in crisis. STOP. Send money! STOP.

Educators and advocates in red are getting the word out in multiple ways about the state of public education in  NC. 

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People really care about public schools! Photo credit: Yevonne Brannon

The 2 day teacher trek

More than 50 teachers, parents and advocates marched 23 miles from Durham to the Capitol to bring attention to the needs of their students June 14 and 15, 2016. The 2 day teacher trek was previewed by CBS News affiliate WCNC on 5/28/16 in “Teachers plan 20 mile march to Raleigh for better school conditions.” Millbrook Elementary School teacher Kristen Beller said “[W]e know the reason our schools are not performing as high as they’re expected to is they’ve been stripped of resources.” What does she mean? Books! Pencils! Paper! Teacher Assistants! Support staff! Teachers have to buy  some of these basics themselves. On the other hand, Beller said the classroom has become a safe haven for some of the lower income students. “We need more resources just to keep these children clean and fed.”

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Teachers and Public Education further hurt by NC budget proposals

“Instead of funding desperately needed 2 percent raises for state employees and a cost-of-living increase for retirees, the NC Senate budget continues diverting $582 million to a rainy day fund, which is too much money considering we are starving our public schools.”

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Also, the NC Senate budget diverts more money for the voucher program and allows the funding to increase by $10 million each year through 2027. This means by 2027 the program would be receiving $145 million (adding $120 million to what they have already allocated to private schools via vouchers).  More at “NC Senate Budget Would Dramatically Increase School Vouchers,” (WFAE, 6/1/16).

This shows where the NC Senate’s values are when it comes to public education.

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NC NOW Conference focuses feminists power!

NC NOW had an exciting state conference on Oct 10, 2015.  We hold these annual conferences for a few reasons.  State conferences are where we elect our state officers, but also, where NOW members and other feminists gather to get organized and motivated to do the work that we do.  That is work that we love to do!

Our theme, “Focusing Women’s Power NOW!” is a call to action!  Also a reminder that our actions do make a difference. We are focusing women’s power by doing education on issues + taking action = social change.  Our planned morning session included panels on progress and issues on 6 topics – racism, economic security, reproductive rights, Violence Against Women, LGBTTQQIIA, and ERA.  Our afternoon session included workshops on working with the media, helping good people get elected, and planning actions.  See the agenda, biographies and more in the NC_NOW_program_2015.

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