State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison writes in his blog that more school employees will lose their jobs if the state does not replace the $258 million in federal edu-jobs money that school districts are using to pay their employees.
Districts must spend all their federal stimulus money before the end of this year.
Harrison was responding to Senate leader Phil Bergers comments Wednesday that replacing federal money with state money is the wrong approach.
Gov. Bev Perdues budget replaces that federal money and does more, using revenue from a proposed 3/4-cent sales tax increase to add $562 million to the K-12 budget. The added money would bring K-12 spending to about $8 billion.
If the federal money is not replaced, hundreds of the 5,400 education jobs lost throughout the state will be in Bergers district, Harrison wrote. He added:
Senator Berger apparently believes that we should cut 5,400 more jobs from North Carolina schools. Superintendents, teachers and parents across North Carolina have said for months that our schools need more resources so they can prepare our children for the future. But Senator Bergers position would actually result in more school layoffs - our schools just cant afford more cuts. Republicans in the General Assembly need to pass a responsible education budget that reverses the damage they did last year and invests in our children.
Perdue, Mississippi exchange insults
A flare-up between two Southern states started Friday when N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue told a reporter at WITN television that Tuesdays vote to ban same-sex marriages by constitutional amendment sent the wrong message about North Carolina.
People around the country are watching us and theyre really confused to have been such a progressive, forward-thinking, economically driven state that invested in education and that stood up for the civil rights of people including the civil rights marches back in the 50s and 60s and 70s, she said. "Folks are saying, what in the world is going in North Carolina? We look like Mississippi.
Before the day was out, Mississippi lashed back.
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, criticized Perdues policies and the Tar Heel states higher unemployment rate. Reeves even made a pitch to N.C. businesses to go to Mississippi if they wanted to work in a lower-taxed, less-regulated state.
Governor Perdue should know that her administration has a lot of work to do to make her states business climate look like Mississippi, Reeves said in a statement.
Voters on Tuesday approved an amendment 61 percent to 39 percent that will ban same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships. A few weeks ago, Perdue made a video urging people to vote against it.
Stams Democratic opponent sees an opening
Rep. Paul Skip Stam of Apex is getting the credit and the blame for the same-sex marriage amendment that voters approved Tuesday. Opponents of the amendment singled him out the day after, vowing to work for his defeat.
That might not worry the firmly entrenched Stam, who represents a strongly Republican district and who, as majority leader in the House, controls a substantial amount of campaign money for himself and other candidates.
He received more than $155,000 in the first quarter of this year, campaign finance reports show, and he distributed about $118,000 of it, much of that to the House GOP caucus. In the final days before the primary, in which he ran unopposed, Stam received contributions from the Koch PAC based in Washington, D.C., and other powerful political action committees. Most of the states major business and medical interest PACs have chipped in for Stam. Triangle entrepreneur and private school owner Bob Luddy chipped in $4,000.
But that isnt dissuading Stams Democratic opponent in the general election in November. Fuquay-Varina attorney Jason Wunsch knows an opening when he sees one. Wunsch sent out a news release today rallying the anti-amendment troops.
The battle is not lost, Wunsch said. On Nov. 6, voters of District 37 will have a choice whether to allow the architect of Amendment One to keep drafting bills in the N.C. House of Representatives. I believe a change in leadership in this district is long overdue.
He acknowledges it will be an uphill struggle but points to Susan Evans upset in the Wake County School Board election as reason for hope.
Wunsch, a criminal defense attorney, ran for the Fuquay-Varina Board of Commissioners last year and lost.
Malone still deciding
Still no word from Charles Malone on whether he will run as the Democratic challenger to George Holding in the general election for the 13th congressional district in November. Malone had filed to run but announced he was withdrawing due to health reasons. But his health improved, and so did the results of the primary election, which gave him the lead over the only other Democratic candidate on the ballot.
If Malone decides once and for all not to run, then the Wake County Democratic Party will choose a replacement. Holding has said he expects Democrats to pump money into his opponents campaign, whoever he is.
Staff writers Lynn Bonner, Franco Ordonez and Craig Jarvis
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