The wrangling over North Carolina and pre-kindergarten classes continues.
Bill Harrison, chairman of the State Board of Education, has weighed in with a blog post that takes aim at Republican efforts to privatize the state's pre-kindergarten program and narrow the population that qualifies for pre-k services.
On Thursday, the House Select Committee on Early Childhood Education will meet to finalize recommendations about pre-K in the state.
A draft piece of legislation by the committee spells out that pre-k would be offered only in private child centers, Harrison writes, which is "clearly not in the best interest of the students and families the program was designed to serve."
Funneling taxpayer dollars to for-profit day care centers would reduce the number of licensed pre-k teachers "to unacceptably low levels," Harrison writes. Public school pre-k teachers are fully licensed, he said, compared to 30 percent of those in private centers.
GOP field keeps growing
The Republican primary field for governor continues to become more crowded.
Jim Mahan, 73, who owns the American Group real estate company in Denver, about 180 miles west of Raleigh in Lincoln County, said Monday that he planned to file for the Republican nomination.
Mahan said he would campaign on the platform of returning prayer to public schools, restoring full employment, promoting the housing/real estate industry, run a health campaign to encourage people to lose weight, and increase teacher pay to make the state the national leader.
Mahan said he planned to run a positive campaign. He is a former class president at East Carolina University and a former college and tennis player at Lees McRae College. He is also a former school teacher.
Also running for the GOP: former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, James Harney of Fayetteville, Paul Wright, a Wayne County attorney, and Charles Kenneth Moss of Randleman.
Perdue gets some praise
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell called North Carolina's Bev Perdue "one of the best governor's in the country" on MSNBC Monday.
Perdue appeared on "Morning Joe" to talk politics from Washington, where she is attending National Governors Association meetings. Rendell, a pundit on the program, made his remarks as he asked Perdue about President Barack Obama's chances in North Carolina this election season.
"I think he can win the state," she replied. "He's resonating with middle class voters."
Despite her lame duck status, Perdue was a hot commodity during her trip, appearing on at least three national cable TV news programs in four days. She appeared as chief Obama trumpeter and to explain again and again her decision not to seek re-election.
Calling the Republican presidential primary "a circus," she said: "Who would have thought at this time in our lives we'd be talking about contraception and choice. We thought those issues were dead years ago. Everyone in my state is focused on jobs, jobs and more jobs."
On the politics in North Carolina: "My state is toxic right now in terms of the partisan dialect."
On whether her low approval ratings forced her from her race: "I plan to spend a whole lot of my time and energy making sure this president wins and Democrats win in North Carolina. I've said it all along, approval ratings don't matter. A hill of beans to me, they never mattered." (From CNN interview Friday)
On how to lower gas prices: "We need to do the whole portfolio from wind and solar and from drilling offshore ... and the fracking (in) states that can be done safely, to nuclear and other nontraditional sources of power." (From MSNBC interview Friday)
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