Under the Dome

Dome: Educators threaten lawsuit over vouchers

July 24, 2013 

The N.C. Association of Educators is threatening to sue over the voucher provisions in the state budget.

The budget includes $10 million to spend next year to pay private school tuition beginning in the 2014-15 school year for children from families that meet income limits.

There’s no voucher program yet, and no lawsuit.

But that hasn’t stopped the cross-talk between the NCAE and voucher proponent Parents for Educational Freedom that’s come in the form of letters to legislators.

NCAE President Rodney Ellis sent legislators a letter Monday saying the NCAE would “immediately pursue legal challenges” against “the constitutionality of taxpayer dollars to be used for private and for-profit schools.”

Darrell Allison, president of Parents for Educational Freedom, responded with his own letter to legislators dated Wednesday calling the lawsuit threat “misguided at best.”

Just call it Pat’s Place

Earlier this year, Gov. Pat McCrory redefined “revenue-neutral” and now his staff is redefining the building where he resides on Blount Street.

For months, McCrory’s office called it the “Executive Mansion,” but now media releases call it the “Governor’s Residence.” (Maybe the word “mansion” didn’t look good on a press release about the signing of a tax bill that gives larger breaks to higher-income earners?)

No matter what the governor’s office calls it, the sign out front still says “Executive Mansion.”

Coble recovering from surgery

U.S. Rep. Howard Coble is recuperating at George Washington University hospital after hernia surgery Tuesday.

Ed McDonald, chief of staff for the 82-year-old Greensboro Republican, said in a statement that Coble would spend a second night in the hospital but that doctors were pleased with his progress and expected no complications.

Coble left a lunch meeting Tuesday with severe stomach pains.

Money will aid biothreat system

U.S. Rep. David Price, a Democrat from Chapel Hill, announced Wednesday that North Carolina will receive an additional $3 million in federal funding for a state biothreat early warning system known as NCB-Prepared (or North Carolina Bio-Preparedness Collaborative).

NCB-Prepared’s goal is to be able to detect symptoms of outbreaks that could indicate a bioterror attack, highly contagious disease, foodborne illness or other public safety threat, Price’s office said in a release.

Started in 2010 with $5 million from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the project is led by UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University.

Other public- and private-sector participants include the N.C. Division of Public Health, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Durham and SAS, a business analytics and software development company headquartered in Research Triangle Park.

“I am very pleased to announce DHS’s decision to fund this innovative public-private partnership because it addresses a hole in our disaster preparedness,” Price said in the release. “By pooling data from systems that currently ‘don’t talk to each other,’ NCB-Prepared will help first responders and health professional see the whole picture and act decisively to end the threat posed by a health incident or biological or chemical attack. NCB-Prepared will also give responders the information they need to calibrate the least-disruptive, most-effective disaster response possible.”

He added: “With our research universities and high-tech businesses, our area is uniquely suited to the kind of public-private collaboration needed to complete a project of this complexity.”

Price is the most senior Democrat on the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.

Staff writers Lynn Bonner, John Frank and Renee Schoof

Send tips to dome@newsobserver.com.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service